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Full text of "The modern school of art"

THE 

MODERN 
Sc BOOL OF ART 



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THE MODERN SCHOOL OF ART. 



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J3DERN SCHO 



EDITED BY 



WILFRID ME 



ILLUf 





"WHO IS IT?' 
the 1'ainting by L. Alma-Tmlema, H.A.) 



THE 



MODERN SCHOOL OF ART. 






EDITED BY 



WILFRID MEYNELL. 



ILLUSTRATED. 



VOL. II. 



W. R. HOWELL & COMPA.TSTY 



ALL RIGHTS RESERVED 



ND 

170 



688086 



CONTENTS. 

PAGE 

LAURENS ALMA-TAUEMA, R.A, ... 1 

CHARLES LUTYENS 23 

VAL PRINSEP, A.RA. 29 

MARK ANTOKOLSKY ... ... ... ... ... 33 

ARNOLD BOCKLIN ... 45 

JOHN BAGNOLD BURGESS, A.RA. 55 

HENRY HUGH ARMSTEAD, R.A. ... C4 

HENRY WILLIAM BANKS DAVIS, R.A 71 

FRED BARNARD ... ... 77 

GEORGE ADOLPHUS STOREY, A.R.A 83 

BASIL VERESTCHAGIN ... 91 

PHIL MORRIS, A.RA. ... 102 

HENRY STACY MARKS, R.A. ... ... ... m 

MARCUS STONE, RA. 122 

GEORGE FREDERICK WATTS, RA. 131 

WILLIAM POWELL FRITH, RA. 144 

JEAN FRANCOIS MILLET 152 

JOHN PETTIE, R.A. 166 

E. J. GREGORY, A.R.A. ... ... ... 183 

HARRY FENN 193 

BRITON RIVIERE, RA 202 

PHILIP HERMOGENES CALDERON, RA 212 

HAYNES WILLIAMS 221 

THOMAS FAED, RA. ... ... 227 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS. 



Lanrciis Alma-Ta<loma, B.A., Portrait and Auto- 
graph of ... 1 

Mr. Lanrens Alma-Tadema's House : 

The Studio 4 

Mrs. Alma-Tadoma's Studio ... 5 

The Drawing-room ; the Gold-room ... ... 7 

The Fountain 8 

The Panel-room 9 

" Tarquinius Superbus " ... 11 

"An Audience at Agrippa's" ... ... ... 12 

" The Pomona Festival " " 14 

" Spring Festival" 15 

"Fredegonda Viewing from her Room in the Palace 
the Marriage Ceremony between Chilperic and 

Galswindo" 16 

"Sappho" 18 

" A Balnoatrix " 19 

" Herr Barnay as Mark Antony" ... .... 20 

" The Way to the Temple " 21 

Charles Lutyens, Portrait and Autograph of ... 23 

" Harnessing the Black Horses " ... 24 

" Crossing the Coquet Biver " ... 27 

Val Priusop, A.B.A., Portrait and Autograpli of ... 29 

"Jane Shore" ... ... ... ... 32 

" The Gleaners " 35 

" The Linen-Gatherers " 36 

" Ivan the Terrible " 39 

" Peter the Great " 43 

" Christ Before the People " 44 

Arnold Bocklin, Portrait of ... ... 46 

"A Sea Idyll" 47 

"The Storm" 50 

" The Cave of the Dragou " 53 

John Bagnold Burgess, A.B.A., Portrait and Auto- 
grapli of ... 55 

" Licensing Beggars in Spain " ... ... ... 57 

" Childhood in Eastern Life " 58 

"The Professor and His Pupil" 62 

" Guarding the Hostages " ... ... ... ... 63 

Henry Hugh Armstead,. B.A ., Portrait and Auto- 
graph of ... 64 

" The Fountain, King's College, Cambridge" ... 67 
" From the Base of the Albert Memorial, Kensing- 
ton " 68 



Henry William Banks Davis, R.A., Portrait and 

Autograph of 71 

"Contentment" ... ... ... 74 

" The Approach of Night " 75 

" Sydney Carton " 77 

"Character Sketch from Dickens 'Mr. Micawbor"' 79 

"' The Vagabond 'The Drawing-room " 80 

" ' The Vagabond The Street ' " 81 

George Adolphus Storey, A.R.A., Portrait of ... S3 

"Viola" 84 

" Lilies, Oleanders, and the Pink " 85 

" Study for ' My Lady Belle '" 87 

"The Old Pump-room, Bath" 89 

Basil Vorostcliagiu, Portrait of ... 91 

" A Tartar of the Northern Slopes of the Caucasus " 94 

"A Cossack" 95 

" The Vanquished The Russians at Telis;-h " ... 97 

" A Kirghiz Falconer " 100 

"A Cossack" 101 

" The End of the Journey " 102 

"Bathers Alarmed" 104 

" The Queen's Shilling " 105 

" The Reaper and the Flowers " 107 

" Procession of First Communicants at Dieppe " ... 108 

" The Condition of Turkey " 109 

Henry Stacy Marks, R.A., Portrait and Auto- 
graph of ... Ill 

" St. Francis Preaching to the Birds " 112 

"Cartoon for 'What is it?"' 1U 

" The Apothecary " 115 

" Science is Measurement " ... llti 

"Convocation" 118 

" An Episcopal Visitation " 119 

" Author and Critics ; " " Half Hours at tlio ' Zoo : ' 

A Study" 120 

" Study A Ploughboy " 121 

Marcus Stone, R. A., Portrait and Autograph of ... l'J2 

" ' Le Roi est Mort ; Vive le Roi ' " lj:, 

" Married for Love " 127 

" A Typo of Beauty " IL'S 

'" Amour ou Patrio '" 129 

George Frederick Watts, R.A., Portrait and Auto- 
graph of 131 

" Portrait of Mrs. Frederick Myers " . . . I : ;.; 



Till 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS. 



' Portrait of Thomas Carlyle " 
' Paolo aud Francesca " 



PA<1E 

134 

136 



" Diana and Endymion " ... ... ... ... 137 

" Time, Death, and Judgment " 139 

" To All the Churches : A Symbolical Design " ... 140 

" Britomart and her Nurse "... ... ... ... 142 

William Powell Frith, R.A., Portrait and Auto- 
graph of 144 



" Claude Duval" 

" The Last of ' The Road to Ruin ' Series " 



147 
148 



" In the Salon d'Or " 149 

Jean Francois Millet, Portrait of 152 

" Millet's House at Barbizon ; " " The House where 

Millet Was Born Gruchy " 153 

" The Shepherdess and Her Flock " 154 

" Le Depart pour le Travail " 157 

" The Shepherdess " 159 

"The Sawyers" ... 162 

" Gathering Beans " 163 

John Pettie, R.A., Portrait and Autograph of ... 166 
Mr. Pettie's House : 

The Studio ; the Entrance-hall 169 

The Inner Hall and Staircase 170 

The Dining-room 171 

View into the Drawing-room ; Cabinet iu the 

Drawing-room ... ... ... ... 173 

"' Jacobites, 1745 "' 174 

" Scene in Hal o" the Wynd's Smithy " 177 

" Trout-fishing at Arran " 178 



PAGE 

" The General's Headquarters " 180 

'" Dost thou know this Water-Fly?'" 181 

" A Look at the Model " 183 

"A Rehearsal" 187 

"Intruders" 191 

" Moonlight on the Shore Eastern Long Island "... 193 
Mr. H. Fenn's House : 

North and South Sides 194 

The Ground Plan 195 

The Hall looking into the Dining-room ... 197 

The Hall Fireplace 198 

" The Port of Messina " 199 

" Inkermann's Ravine " ... ... ... ... 200 

" Fitch Mountain, Lake George " ... ... ... 201 

Briton Riviere, R.A., Portrait and Autograph of 202 

"Victims" 204 

" The King Drinks " 205 

" Giants at Play " 208 

Philip Hermogenes Caldoron, R.A., Portrait and 

Autograph of 212 

"Constance" ... ... ... ... 214 

" ' And a little face at the window peers out into the 

night'" 215 

"' Spring Pelting Away Winter '" 217 

Hayues Williams, Portrait and Autograph of ... 221 

" The Stepmother " 223 

"Congratulations" 224 

Thomas Faed, R. A., Portrait and Autograph of ... 227 

"' Oh ! wha wad buy a silken gown '" 229 



LIST OF PLATES. 



"AT THE GOLDEN GATE" 

"FALSTAFF AND THE CHIEF JUSTICE" 

"THE VICTORS THE TURKS AT TELISCH " 

" HOME, SWEET HOME " 

" THE MID-DAT REST " 

"THE ANGELUS" 

"CAPBI" 

" SIGHING His SOUL INTO His LADY'S FACE " 

" ARS LONGA, VITA BRE vis " Haynes Williams 



L. Alma-Tadema, R.A. 
Val Prinsep, A.R.A 
F. Barnard ;.. 


Frontispiece. 
... To face 29 

77 


Basil Verestchagiii 
P. R. Morris, A.R.A. 
G. F. Watts, R.A. 
J. F. Millet 


91 
102 
131 
152 


H. Fenn 


193 


P. H. Calderon, R.A. 
Haynes Williams . 


212 
22] 



THE 



MODERN SCHOOL OF ART. 




* 



(From n rlmlngrnph liy A. K. FnuleRe.) 



LAURENS ALMA-TADEMA, R.A. 

fOOKING over some art -chronicles of the year 1873, we recently stumbled 
on this entry : " Mr. Alma-Tadema, the Belgian artist now settled in 
London, has been elected an Associate of the Society of Painters in 
Water-Colours." Since that not very remote period when, in the 
leading art-journal of the day, the name of Mr. Alma-Tadema required 
a sort of explanatory introduction, " the Belgian artist now settled in 
London" has become a striking entity in the English world of art. Not that 

30 




2 THE MODERN SCHOOL OF ART. 

Mr. Alma-Tadema himself would smile to be called "a Belgian painter;" on 
the contrary, he would seriously repudiate the description. Even when the phrase 
was used, it was not correct, for he was born not a Belgian but a Dutchman, and 
in the first month of that very year, 1873, he had become a naturalised English- 
man; and every succeeding season has allied him more closely with our country 
.and its art. If readers were to make the acquaintance of Mr. Alma-Tadema under 
the impression that they were going to talk to a foreign artist, they would 
speedily perceive their mistake ; for when he says " our school " he means the 
English school, and when he uses the pronoun " we " in an artistic and national 
sense, it stands for himself and the painters who are his fellow-countrymen 
by adoption. 

Let us continue to suppose ourselves for a time in the company of the great 
artist, and in the beautiful and characteristic studio he occupied so long at 
Townshend House, on the outskirts of Eegent's Park. Looking around, we are 
sure to find on the easels, either in progress or complete, some exquisite instances 
of the master's skill. It will be evident to us at once, on closely examining the 
canvases, that only by extreme technical learning could he produce his lovely and 
famous textures and surfaces, which are done so broadly and freely that the finish 
is hard to understand. " You must not think that those roses look like roses 
because I have niggled at them," says the artist, as we stop to admire the ex- 
traordinary yet unobtrusive imitation of a bunch of the crimson and pink roses 
he paints so often, combining them frequently with the glowing tones of gold or 
brass in an unusual and very felicitous manner; and he gives us a magnifying- 
glass which shows us how uncramped and impulsive the handling of them is. 
Never has the saying of poor William Hunt, that "true finish is of the nature 
of true commencement," been more happily demonstrated than here. Mr. Alma- 
Tadema will tell us that these surfaces of his those skins and that marble are 
real, less by reason of minuteness of labour than by that truth of "relations" on 
which so much store is set in the art-schools of the Continent. And notwithstanding 
his choice of an English nationality, and his respect for the English character, and 
his even insistent patriotism, it is undeniably to foreign discipline and the foreign 
system that he owes his most distinctive scientific excellences; while his foreign 
birth has bestowed on him a certain quality of excellence of touch, a charm in 
the handling of the paint, quite apart from beauty of colour or solidity of drawing, 
which is distinctly not among our many national artistic merits. Certainly all this 
happy art has been come at by severe study, in addition to the influence of the 
austere medievalism of his master, Baron Leys, on the training of his youth, The 
completeness of his revolt when the time arrived for the assertion of his own in- 
dividuality is a curious feature of his life. His master was, as we have said, of the 
Middle Ages ; the pupil became, artistically speaking, and remained, a pagan but by 
no means, be it observed, a pagan of that school of feeble pessimism, of impotent 
emotion and unwholesome amativeness, which has stirred some young hearts with 



LAURENS ALMA-TADEMA, R.A. 3 

so much vague yet keen sentiment of late, and which the real pagans would have 
been masculine enough to hold in no little scorn. 

Living in an imitative age, we can make but imperfect essays in artistic furnish- 
ing. In originative epochs completeness is easy enough. The early Florentine, for 
instance, preparing his villa outside the gates, or finishing his winter palace in 
town, had no need to cast about for " periods," in his things of use or ornament, 
and was not fain to consider himself exceptionally consistent if he kept within a 
liberal margin of a century in matching together the fittings of his house. Every 
one who worked for him from the artist who frescoed his wall to the carpenter or 
the potter worked strictly, but unconsciously, according to the " unities." Every- 
thing was right, as a matter of course ; everything was artistic ; everything, in a 
word, was early Florentine without effort. Some antiques among the ornaments of 
the house took their places as harmonious accidents ; but all the rest was in one 
accord. We, however, who " live by admiration," in a sense more extreme than 
that intended by Wordsworth, are obliged to take very special pains in our house- 
furnishing, if we wish to preserve these unities : with this result when all is done 
that we are ourselves the standing anachronisms to our dwellings, thinking, 
feeling, acting, and dressing out of date. The wisest way is, therefore, to accept 
the situation frankly, to abandon the dream of simulating or representing a period, 
and to mix times for the sake of their beauty, choosing ornaments by way rather 
of reminiscence than of reproduction. Mr. Alma-Tadema's way has evidently been 
this, and his house, if antique in many of its details, is modern in its compre- 
hensiveness. Old times and new, the East and the West, have been made to 
contribute some line of form, some subtlety of colour, to a cluster of rooms which 
is as brilliant and attractive as a bunch of flowers. Nevertheless, these several 
components are all correct in themselves. What is Roman is pure Roman not 
that adaptation after the French " Empire " taste which so often does duty for the 
true thing ; and what is Japanese is pure Japanese, and no half-occidentalised cor- 
ruption. Using classic qualities more than do most painters who have built them- 
selves palaces of art, the artist's choice has inclined rather to the lucid in colour 
and the translucent in surface " than to the soft tertiary tints and the dull and 
opaque surfaces of the ordinary English artistic taste. His house, indeed, is the 
appropriate dwelling of one who is a painter of light. It stands, too, as far as 
may be from the fog-centres, in that region of the north-west which is supposed to 
afford the working artist more days of light and more hours of sun than he can 
find elsewhere in London. Everything is comparative, however; and the "golden 
glooms " of these charming apartments should by rights be recessed from the blaze 
of a southern sky, and penetrated by the all-pervading reflected lights of a Roman 
or an Egyptian summer. 

Entering the hall, on each side is a door the left one leading to Mrs. Alma- 
Tadema's studio and the conservatory, and the right leading to the library, with 
its Gothic furniture. These doors open outwards and meet in the hall, where by 



THE MODERN SCHOOL OF ART. 




MR. ALMA-TADEMA S STUDIO. 



a very simple arrangement they are fixed, and block entrance to the house, except 
through the rooms on either side, which are narrow and long, and which lead to 
the other end of the hall, and to the staircase, which one must ascend to reach 
the drawing-rooms and Mr. Alma-Tadema's studio. The doors, thus devised to 
block at will the entrance-passage or hall, have painted panels, one of which contains 
a portrait of Mrs. Alma-Tadema by her husband. This is one of the decorations 
of Townshend House which dates from before the explosion on the Regent's Canal. 
The rest of the door was shattered, but that particular panel was left uninjured : 
becaiTse, said the painter, it had on it the portrait of the mistress of the house. If 
the same charm has always the same power, misfortune should never enter the 
dwelling, for a bust or portrait of Mrs. Alma-Tadema may be found in nearly every 
room. In addition to the blue-bonneted head on the panel just alluded to, there 
is a more important portrait exhibited at the Grosvenor Gallery a few seasons ago 
from Mr. Alma-Tadema's own brush ; M. Bastien-Lepage and Mr. John Collier 
have interpreted the same features in colour ; while among the busts and statuettes 
which mark the homage of many sculptors, M. Amendola's plastic portrait of the 
lady leaning back in a low chair may take the palm for vividness and finish. Mrs. 
Alma-Tadema's name is inscribed in antique letters on wall and panel, and the 



LAURENS ALMA-TADEMA, E.A. 



dates of important domestic events, such as the painter's arrival in England and 
his marriage, are traced above the drawing-room door, and help to make Townshend 
House what every house ought to be perhaps a place for beautiful things and a 
museum for rare ones, but above everything a Home. 

The artist lives his whole life under his own roof, and every room bears witness 
to his presence. Every nook and corner is inhabited, and possesses in consequence 
that human interest which is wanting in half the fine houses of the day. The duke 
in "Lothair" who complains that he has no home, because in truth he has so 
many, spoke a fuller truth than perhaps he knew ; and the merchant who spends 
half or a quarter of his life in the city runs the risk of never having anything more 
than an " eligible mansion " for the place of his abode. But Townshend House 
is the entire scene of Mr. Alma-Tadema's toil, happiness, and triumph, and is, 
therefore, in some sense an epitome of his history; for if the books on a man's 
shelves be an indication 
of his character, far more 
so in the world of art are 
the papers on his walls, 
the cloths on his table, 
and the carpets on his 
floor. This biographical 
interest belongs to almost 
every room of Townshend 
House hardly less than 
to the studio, which may 
be supposed to represent 
the artist's own taste. 
The Tadema studio is a 
square room, the view of 
which in our illustration 
of it is taken from be- 
hind the chair, enveloped 
in a rug, seen in the 
right-hand corner nearest 
the spectator. In the 
left-hand corner, at the 
farther end of the room, 
is the entrance, with a 
bust of the painter to the 
right. The decorations of 
the room, in which Pom- 
peian designs are mostly 

executed in the CUStomary MBS. ALUA-TADEMA'S STCDIO. 




6 THE MODERN SCHOOL OF ART. 

reds and yellows, can hardly be presented to the reader by the black and white of 
the artist, and still less by the black and white of the writer. The initiated will 
doubtless find in all these decorations, most of which are from the hand of Mr. 
Alma-Tadema himself, a learning which will rouse their enthusiasm; but the visitor 
not versed in archaic lore will be inclined to consider the design curious rather than 
delightful, and will turn from the somewhat expressionless tints on ceiling and wall 
to the canvases in coarse of progress on the easels. For here the busy artist labours 
with a fidelity which shirks no difficulty, and never hesitates to obliterate one beau- 
tiful chord of colour if it can be replaced by another more beautiful still. And while 
he will sacrifice time to produce a scheme of colour, which perhaps hardly a dozen 
Academy goers will recognise as nearer perfection than that which has been effaced, 
he sacrifices also some of that easily-won applause which can be gained by the 
use of cheap methods of effect. He paints marble without reflections and armour 
without high lights, yet both with a science which captivates the connoisseur, and 
with a reality which awakens the admiration and curiosity of the crowd. From 
this studio, season by season, he has gladdened us by his whites and his blues, 
and charmed us by the cool and lovely tints he has created out of the little gamut 
of colours contained upon the artist's palette. 

Descending three steps, we pass into the first of the suite of little drawing- 
rooms. The Column Drawing-Boom's ceiling is supported by Ionic pillars, lucent 
in surface, while great cushions of Oriental stuffs are heaped upon the chairs and 
couches, and thick Oriental carpets, small in size and subtle in colour, almost cover 
the inlaid floor. A portion of this room, or rather compartment for there are no 
doors between the drawing-rooms, but only archways and curtains is hung with 
crimson Persian applique work in velvet of considerable antiquity, once the ornament 
of a palace in Venice when she " held the gorgeous East in fee ; " a decoration in 
stencil comes between the velvet and the yellow ceiling ; the windows are principally 
filled by Mexican onyx. 

Farther on is the Gold Boom, more antique in sentiment and more radiant 
than any other apartment in the house. One side is opened by an arch designed 
by the master of the dwelling, and surmounted by two small semicircular openings 
overarching a couple of broad shelves in the thickness of the wall, which are loaded 
with pottery; immediately below these shelves hangs a gorgeous Chinese silk 
curtain, yellow, blue, and gold. The floor is of ebony and maple; a Byzantine 
dado five feet high lines the walls, and supports china or some chance ornament 
upon its shelf; above this runs a miniature copy, in ivory set in ebony, of the 
Parthenon frieze ; while thence to the ceiling and over the ceiling itself spreads 
the luminous gold in shade which gives the room its beauty and its name. The 
furniture, of which there is not too much, tells darkly against this splendid surface, 
so smooth, yet so varied by the accidents of light, the accents of contrast being 
here strongly marked throughout. The gold walls were originally intended to 
serve more distinctly as a background, or rather to fill up the interstices of pictures, 



LAURENS ALMA-TADEMA, R.A. 



and so frame 
them more 
effectually, but 
the gold-leaf 
once applied 
was found to 
be so beautiful 
that it was 
left alone. The 
window here, 
too, is fitted 
with panes, not 
of glass, but 




of Mexican onyx, translucent 
and almost transparent, with 
veinings of brown; and the 
leads trace the oft-repeated 
initials of the master and 
mistress of the house. Apart 
upon a shelf stands a large 
crater or oxybaphon a re- 
production of the great Hil- 
desheim piece which, cut and 
finished from the solid silver, 
and weighing some thirty 
Koman pounds, was unearthed 
about fourteen years ago. In 
this chamber, so well adapted 
for sound, is the now famous 
piano, a Broadwood, designed 
by the painter himself. It 
is an altogether unique in- 
strument as to its case, in 
which oak, mahogany, ebony, 

and white woods, ivory, and tortoiseshell, and mother-of-pearl, combine in a Byzan- 
tine design ; the capitals of the columnar supports are imitated from St. Sophia at 



THE GOLD BOOM. 



THE MODERN SCHOOL OF ART. 



Constantinople ; spaces of iron-work were prepared to be painted on by the artist 
himself ; and under the cover are sheets of vellum containing autographs of 
great pianists who have evoked the tone of the piano, which is worthy of the 
form. Larks, owls, and cuckoos appear in gilt and incised work upon the oaken 
panelled sides, with their song expressed in antique notation. All round the bottom 
of the case are ivory drops of quaint and rich effect. The seat no music-stool, 

but a throne worthy of a great musician is in keeping with 
the piano; it holds music, and is covered with Japanese 

cushions. 

Divided from the Gold Eoom by the double-headed arch- 
way is an apartment all Dutch and mediaeval, the last of 
the little group of diminutive drawing-rooms. When Towns- 
hend House was shaken and all but destroyed by the ex- 
plosion, a magnificent collection of old 
Dutch cabinets went to pieces, and it 
is with the panels remaining that this 
room is lined for some five or six feet 
of its height. A sixteenth - century 
window, transported hither, gives dim 
light through its latticed glass, and is 
fortified by old oak shutters heavily 
clamped with steel. Above the wooden 
panelling the room is painted in a very 
light tint which spreads over the deeply- 
vaulted ceiling, and is broken on the 
walls by a quantity of blue and white 
china, one or two old Dutch pictures, 
and innumerable accidents of ornament. 
The room being somewhat dark, bears this lightness of tone in its upper portion 
very well. The panel room at Townshend House indicates the fact, to which 
attention will presently be drawn, that it has not always been Egypt, Greece, and 
Borne with our Anglo-Dutch artist. Nor does the staircase, to which we pass from 
the last drawing-room, bear any trace of classicism in its fittings. A Morris paper 
the pomegranate pattern lines the wall, with a dado of dark brown ; but little is 
visible except an almost complete collection of photographs from Mr. Alma-Tadema's 
pictures. The ground floor of the house is distributed between the dining-room, the 
library, and Mrs. Alma-Tadema's studio, which is divided into compartments, after 
the fashion of the drawing-room. In one division the Japanese element is strong; 
clusters of fans subdue the lamps, and in their half-shadow hangs the painter's 
solemn and impressive " Death of the Firstborn." A cottage piano stands here ; 
it has been superseded and surpassed by the famous instrument upstairs, but its 
case has decorations in colour from the hands of Mr. Alma-Tadema and his wife 




THE FOUNTAIN. 



LAUREN8 ALMA-TADEMA. R.A. 



9 






quaint designs which include some staves of antique notation. From this room 
opens another which is in a different taste. The upper portion of the walls are 
hung with Spanish leather, and the quasi-white dado is panelled with decorative 
designs. Then comes the conservatory, with tall plants in picturesque pots ; a 
rectangular white marble Roman tank receives a fountain from the mouth of a 
small antique mask ; 
M. Dalou's bust of 
Mrs. Alma-Tadema 
stands above. An 
Iiidian grass ham- 
mock swings across 
the conservatory, and 
old Chinese lanterns 
hang from above. 
Passing the baro- 
meter, which the 
artist complains of 
as not showing fine 
weather enough, we 
go through the 
dining - room, with 
its matting dado and 
old water-colours of 
flower and fruit, and 
through the library, 
where the Gothic 
table vas designed 
by Mr. Alma- 
Tadema himself. 
The grotesqiie head 

of a bronze knocker, copied from an antique, is our last impression of Townshend 
House. And now we must allow ourselves a retrospect of the career of its typical 
and happy occupant. 

Born in Holland, but a naturalised Englishman, and a master in the English 
school, Mr. Alma-Tadema occupies a position entirely peculiar to himself. Original 
in all else, he is original also in this. Moreover, a Dutchman by birth, an English- 
man by adoption, he belongs by his art to a third nation Rome, and to a far-distant 
century. Professing the doctrine of art for art's sake, and desiring apparently to 
free his own art from all the literary interests from tragedy and comedy and 
morals and religion he seems to have sought out a time and a country in which 
life, as it passed on, made pictures for the eye alone. Ancient Rome, with its 
Italian sun, with the gaiety of its outdoor life, with its freedom from the ascetic 

31 




THE PANEL ROOM. 



10 THE MODERN SCHOOL OF ART. 

abstraction of after-ages, with its refinements of dress and of manners, and trie 
invariable beauty of its daily details, offers an infinity of such pictures. Greece 
was beautiful, yet Greece was too serious for the mood of Mr. Alrna-Tadema's art ; 
the human type, moreover, which he has made peculiarly his own, has nothing of 
Greek severity or regularity; and from the little visits which his brush has paid to 
Greece, to Egypt, to modern Holland, and elsewhere, it returns always with renewed 
delight to the gay brilliance of classic Home. The scholarly knowledge which 
this choice of subject requires is no child's play. Yet Mr. Alma-Taderna never 
wearies its with pedantry; he may intentionally raise an occasional smile by quaint 
insistence upon some scholarly detail, but his science is never obtrusive, for he often 
elects to spend his greatest learning on some half-comic and wholly commonplace 
passage of the buried past. 

That Mr. Alma-Tadema should unite with English artists in representing the 
English school abroad and at home is a fortunate chance, which has strengthened 
our hands in the emulation of nations, giving us adventitious honours which we 
have not merited before, and can only deserve now in one way by sedulous study 
of that refined, learned, and exquisite work which has power enough to leaven the 
English school of colouring. Mr. Alma-Tadema is not ours by birth nor by training, 
he will never become ours by the conversion of his talent to British tastes and habits 
of art ; but he can be ours, and is fast becoming such by the conversion of the 
national tastes and habits to Mm to his science, his original, nay, creative gifts 
of colour, his practice of that art of valuing the lights and darks of a picture by 
which the effect of atmosphere is produced. Since the decline of the immortal 
school of portraiture in the last century, of which Sir Joshua Keynolds was the 
master and the noblest example, and since the complete conclusion of that almost 
equally noble art of landscape-painting, the masters of which are remembered as 
the " Norwich School," English work has taken a way of complete change, of revolt 
from the national traditions, and, at the same time, of independence of contemporary 
schools. Much freshness of thought, freedom of manner, and originality of aim 
have been unquestionably produced amongst us by this general attitude. But no 
one who has watched the progress of matters during the last few years will be 
disposed to doubt that it is being quickly abandoned. On all hands a disposition 
is showing itself to assimilate our practice to that of the scientifically trained and 
systematically taught schools of France, South Germany, Holland, and Belgium. 
Mr. Alma-Tadema, working in our midst and as one of us, has done more towards 
this change than any other artist or any art-critic. 

Mr. Laurens Alma-Tadema (the Alma, by the way, was early added by the 
artist to make his name euphonious to English and to his own musical ears, or, as 
he has himself suggested, so that he might learn his fate quickly when the Academy 
sent out its varnishing tickets alphabetically) was born at Dronryp, in the Nether- 
lands, on the 8th of January, 1836. His early training took place at the Royal 
Academy of Antwerp, and his maturer studies were prosecuted in the studio of 




TARQUIXIUS SUPERBUS. 

(from tht 1'icturt in Poatuion qf Sir Henry Tlumpmn. By kind Pcrmiuion of Main. PUgtran and Lt/tcrt.) 



12 



THE MODERN SCHOOL OF ART. 



Baron Leys. Our readers need scarcely be told that the great difference between 
a foreign and an English art-education lies in the fact, that whereas the student in 
our country works in a Government school under the intermittent teaching of a 




AN AUDIENCE AT AGKiri'A's. 



number of artists of many minds, or else engages the private services of a tenth- 
rate painter, whose profession is that of copyist and teacher, the foreign art-student 
passes from the class of an academy to the care of some leading artist of his country 
and time, part of whose ambition it is to found a school, it may be, and at any 
rate to hand down the traditions, habits, and technique which he has himself 



LAURENS ALMA-TADEMA, R.A. 18 

successfully observed, to the young talents whose future triumphs will each and all 
add a specially noble glory to his own renown. It is not sufficient for a French 
master, for instance, to succeed in the few great pictures which he can achieve in 
his own lifetime ; he wishes, in addition, to bear a part in the living history of 
his country's art, to pass on for further development some view of nature, some little 
piece of technical science which he has himself developed from the teaching of his 
own early instructor. Nor would a debutant on first exhibiting be received with 
much respect unless he announced himself as the pupil of such and such an artist. 
The technical difficulties of painting are well known to be so enormous that a self- 
taught artist must needs waste half his youth in puzzling out what his master 
could tell him in an hour ; besides which the discipline of learning is considered 
necessary for the right prosecution of scientific and legitimate art. No French 
painter, therefore, exhibits at the Salon without the addition of his master's name 
to his own ; he may be a well-known and successful artist, but he appears in the 
catalogue at the same time as a pupil. That in this system mannerisms should be 
caught and (as mannerisms always are in the imitation) exaggerated, is undoubtedly 
one of its dangers. And Baron Leys was almost professedly a mannerist. Far 
more scientific as a draughtsman, he was as archaic as our own " Pre-Kaphaelites " 
of some thirty or forty years ago ; he also had a curious habit of binding his figures 
with a hard, dark outline ; nevertheless, his distinguished pupil has caught nothing 
of these peculiarities, save perhaps an extreme precision in details. Least of all has 
he carried out the dry and ascetic spirit of Baron Leys, whose inspiration came 
from the early Flemish masters. Mr. Alma-Tadema seems, in a word, to have 
assimilated only and exactly what suited his individual artistic constitution ; nor 
could the relations of master and pupil have a more fortunate outcome than this. 

The young artist began to be known about the year 1863 ; the remarkable 
qualities of his work were not long in exciting interest in all lovers of new and 
exquisite colour. In the following year he obtained the distinguished honour of a 
gold medal at Paris, and thenceforward recognitions came thickly. At the Paris 
International Exhibition of 1867 (the most brilliant and triumphant of all the 
internationals, when the Second Empire was at its brightest, richest, and gayest, 
no cloud even of the size of a man's hand appearing above the horizon) he gained 
a medal, and another at Berlin in 1872. To complete his foreign honours, let us 
say at once that he is a Knight of the Order of Leopold, of the Order of the Dutch 
Lion, and of that of St. Michael of Bavaria; Chevalier of the Legion of Honour; 
and member of the Amsterdam and Munich Academies. From such different schools 
has he received awards ! The pedantry of modern Munich, the mediocrity of modern 
Amsterdam, the savoir-faire of modern Paris all have offered him homage. And 
to these is to be added the sincere, and, indeed, grateful recognition of London. 

For, all this time, Mr. Alma-Tadema was exhibiting year by year at our 
Royal Academy. His pictures have been "a feature" there for over twenty years, 
during which his style has never altered although his delicate power has increased. 



14 



THE MODERN SCHOOL OF ART. 



His painting of surfaces of marble, stone, bronze is what has principally taken 
the eyes of the million. This is a form of excellence readily intelligible; fewer, 
perhaps, recognise the means by which this perfection of representation is obtained 
a method purely scientific. Season by season he has not forgotten to gladden 
and even to astonish us by that shibboleth of colourists, which none pronounces 
more perfectly than he the painting of white. Season by season also he has 
delighted London eyes by one of the most characteristic and individual devices 
of his art the introduction of a little space of the free blue sky, palpitating with 
the light of the shining Italian weather. Be the subject a cool interior or an over- 




THE POMONA FESTIVAL. 

(By kind Permission of Messrs. Aijnew and Sow.) 



shaded garden, in which the differences of tone lie between narrow limits, through 
the corner of a high window or between the trees shines the illimitable azure. An 
artist who can paint the sky with the noonday sunshine in it by means of a little 
scrap of blue has mastered his art in a way that is given to few. To paint the 
"live air" this is a triumph. A painter of atmosphere is generally understood to 
be a painter of fog. To represent air when it is so mixed with palpable articles as 
to be scarcely air at all is no difficult matter ; but Mr. Alma-Tadema paints, or 
rather implies, the pure, free atmosphere of lucid day. And to these victories over 
the technical difficulties of his art he has added yet another his victory over the 
prejudices of the ordinary picture-loving English public. 

As a rule, the common run of visitors to the Academy demand stories, illus- 
trations, and emotions. A little easily-understood allegory is the most universally 
attractive subject; second to this comes the direct illustration of a familiar incident 
in history; and third, perhaps, a scene of domestic modern life. That a picture 



LAUKENS ALMA-TADEMA, R.A. 



15 



should have a story to tell, and should tell it unmistakably, is an irrefutable title 
to general favour. Now Mr. Alma-Tadema will not humour the public in this 
respect ; he denies them flatly ; he specially, deliberately, and firmly refuses and 
resists them ; and yet in spite of this he is not caviare to the general. Indeed, 
he has few rivals as the object of a 
solidly established popularity. 

Banishing, as Mr. Alma-Tadema 
does, the emotions from his art, his 
subjects, as a general rule, are in 
no sense connected with the feel- 
ings; they are the learned revivifi- 
cations of the past, delighting only 
by their scholarly accuracy ; but if 
the subject be so reserved in its 
aims, there is one emotion that of 
delight which is never absent from 
his work, and its presence is attri- 
butable entirely to his light and 
colour. It is not too much to say 
that no other colourist has ever 
produced such a sense of joy. The 
Venetians' colour was otherwise ex- 
pressive, so was that of Rubens and 
the Flemish school, so is that of 
the modern French masters ; joy is 
not their aim ; but we cannot be- 
lieve otherwise of the subject of this 
sketch than that he holds delight of 
heart in view as the object of his 
work. A list of his pictures is not 
dry reading, for it recalls touch after 
touch of light, colour, and pleasure 
which all who love such things 
would not willingly forget. The 
following are his principal works known in England : " How they Amused 
Themselves in Egypt 3,000 Years Ago," 1863; "Egyptian Game," 1865; "The 
Soldier of Marathon," 1865; "A Roman Dance," 1866; " Tarquinius Superbus," 
1867, which we engrave; "Phidias and the Elgin Marbles," 1868; "Flower 
Market," 1868; "A Negro," 1869; "The Vintage," 1870; "A Roman Emperor," 
1871 ; " The Mummy (Roman period)," 1872 ; " The Siesta," 1873 ; " Joseph, Over- 
seer of Pharaoh's Granaries," 1874, a very curious realistic picture, as unlike the 
conventional treatment of Biblical subjects as it was probably like the real scene ; 




SPRING FB8TIVAL. 



16 



THE MODERN SCHOOL OF ART. 



"On the Steps of the Capitol," 1874; "The Sculpture Gallery," 1875, in which 
the painting of marble, in a quiet suhdued effect, without accentuated lights or 
shadows, is a triumph of science; "The Painter's Studio," 1875, where the interior 
of the room shows exquisite mellow yellows with cool passages, while through a 
little window appears one of those glimpses of unrivalled blue sky of which we have 
already spoken; "An Audience at Agrippa's," 1876, containing a memorable pave- 
ment and tiger skin, besides 
exquisite colour in the dra- 
peries ; " Cleopatra," 1876, in 
which the artist has unfor- 
tunately given an Egyptian 
type to that Greek daughter 
of the Ptolemies, the paint- 
ing of the flesh and of a 
black pearl that hangs at the 
swarthy ear being the notable 
things in the picture. To 
the same year belongs "After 
the Dance," which shows a 
Bacchante, fast asleep on a 
bearskin with a tambourine 
in her hand. The figure is 
in very high relief, as it 
were, and modelled with 
care, but as usual the face 
is singularly unsympathetic 
and coarse. Next in order 
come the pictures of 1877. 
"Between Hope and Pear" 
is the rather enigmatical title 
of a composition of an elderly 

and antique monarch reclining on a couch and about to drink from a cup. A damsel 
bearing a great bunch of roses turns timorously away. All the accessories armour 
hanging up, figs on a salver, bronze and gold vessels, cream-coloured and yellow 
silks are wonderfully painted. 

But one of the artist's masterpieces was the series of "The Seasons," which 
have been briefly described as-(l), green of the fields ; (2), yellow of brass ; (3) red 
of fire; and (4), blue of cold. The "Spring," however, is not precisely green; it 
is involved in blue April atmosphere, which seems to be living with light; and 
across fields of asphodel and daffodil come the flower-like Eoman girls keeping 
their own festival of blossom and scent. Some are erect, some bend hither and 
thither for posies in the grass. The "Summer" is a scene in a Eoman bath the 




FREDEGOXDA VIEWING FROM HER ROOM IN THE PALACE THE MAHHIAOE 
CEREMONY BETWEEN CHILVERIC AND GALSWINDE. 



1. ATHENS ALMA-TADEMA, R.A. 17 

brass and marble wet, golden robes, 1lic surface of tbe lucid water strewn with 
rose-leaves, one rose-crowned lady dreaming in tbe water, another resting asleep 
upon the seat above. "Autumn" is a fierce-looking votaress purple-robed, performing 
a kind of dance while she pours libations of new wine to the gods. In " Winter " 
we have the exquisite tints of the blue and grey of the garments of a group of 
women peering out of their shelter at the snow. These charming works were 
succeeded by "A Sculptor's Model" and " Love's Missile." The former is, as it were, 
a revivification of the not very beautiful statue known as the Esquiline Venus ; that 
is, Mr. Alma-Tadema figures the model who might have been supposed to stand for 
it, posed upon her pedestal, with the arms raised in the attitude of the statue, binding 
her hair. As the "Venus" (probably not a Venus at all, but inevitably so named 
at its digging-up in Rome) does not belong to a fine period, and has no special 
charm, it was scarcely worth while bringing her to life in the picture. "Love's 
Missile " is a great bunch of roses just about to be flung by a girl who watches her 
lover from a window. Of the next important picture, "Down to the River," it cannot 
be said that the subject is attractive. A bridge in perspective spans the river, and 
down steps at its side go ladies and children, while watermen beckon them to their 
boats. The figures are all rather awkwardly cut in two, and none of the heads are 
pleasing. With this was exhibited a gem, "The Pomona Festival." Here a group 
of Romans, men, maids, and children, have formed a circle round a fruit-tree in full 
blossom, and for sheer gaiety of heart are dancing, one leaping grotesquely into 
the air with the spring of an india-rubber bah 1 . The work throughout is exquisite, 
and the colour most delicate and tender. Also a scene in a Roman garden was 
" A Hearty Welcome," a little girl welcoming her mother among the flower-beds. 
" In the Time of Constantino " shows two Romans teaching a poodle tricks as they 
sit in the sunshine. In " Spring Festival," a subject taken from the Georgics, 
Mr. Alma-Tadema gives us again the jocund open air an atmosphere a-quiver with 
light, pine trees against a warm blue sky, fields full of flowers, and figures with 
song and cymbal dancing their thanks to the gods. 

Leaving his dear Rome for a time this same year (1880) the artist produced his 
fierce " Fredegonda," sitting in her barbaric palace on her tiger-skin, as she watches 
the espousals of Chilperic to the Visigothic princess, the rival for whom she \vas 
obliged to give way, not being of royal blood. But we are back again in the 
Empire with " Ave Caesar lo Saturnalia ! " a wonderful scene of revelry and mockery, 
where the interior of the Roman palace is painted with a completeness which even 
Mr. Alma-Tadema had perhaps hardly touched before. But for sheer beauty he 
surpassed himself in the " Sappho " of the following year. Here we are taken to 
sweeter air and a sweeter life than that of Rome. By the Greek sea such a sea ! 
it is a lucid blue that burns like a sapphire an amphitheatre of marble has been 
erected for the poets who sing there marble which has taken the warmth of the 
southern sun and the softness of the air, and which is lucent and semi-transparent. 
Here, flower-crowned, sits Sappho with her pupils, also garlanded with spring jonquils 
32 



LAURENS ALMA-TADEMA, R.A. 



19 



and narcissus, while a young poet touches his lyre to his recital. She bends over 

her desk, eyes and ears fervently intent. There are passages of colour in this 

wonderful picture which surpass description, in the lyre, the flowers, the pines, the 

draperies. And yet one false note the blue of the sky, which is out of harmony 

with the magnificent colour of the sea jars almost fatally. It is the one fault of 

a true masterpiece. Mr. Alma-Tadema's only picture 

in 1882 was the portrait of Mr. J. Whichcord, and 

several of his contributions to the Grosvenor Gallery 

have been portraits, among them being that of Herr 

Barnay, the German actor, in the character of Mark 

Antony. But it was to the Grosvenor that the 

painter sent one of the most perfect works produced 

by his delightful pencil. This was " Expectation," an 

antique scene on the Southern Italian coast. A girl 

sits in exquisite drapery on a marble seat, with a 

tree above her covered with rosy blossoms. She 

raises herself in the sunshine to look across the 

shining blue bay ; for from the harbour of a little 

white town opposite a boat has set sail towards her 

home. For sun, colour, and a luminous delicacy this 

is a very jewel among pictures. 

Mr. Alma-Tadema's diploma picture was ex- 
hibited at the Academy in 1883. This was "The 
Way to the Temple." A girl in red sits at a 
gateway selling bronze statuettes; in the background 
a Bacchic procession passes, and the blue sea flashes 
beyond. Next came an elaborate picture represent- 
ing a visit supposed to be paid by the Emperor 
Hadrian to a British pottery. The subject is much 
akin to that of the painter's " Artist's Studio " and 
"Sculptor's Studio." It is classic, yet deals with no 
political event, and presents good opportunities for the 

study of form and surface in still-life, and for that of the figure in perfect repose. 
For Mr. Alma-Tadema has always eschewed dramatic movement and energetic action, 
as not being in the scheme of his art. With the Eoman Empress's face the painter 
has not hesitated to deal ; but the native beauty was something too fresh and too fair 
he chose to leave it to the spectator's imagination, turning away the head of the 
British potter's wife, and leaving her white shoulder to speak for her loveliness. In 
announcing the picture, an enterprising evening paper spoke of this as English 
beauty, showing a truly astonishing confusion of ideas, which might make the 
friends of Mr. Green rejoice that he was called away from a world which so 
persistently mixes up the Teutonic and Celtic races, and refuses to realise the fact 




A IIALNKATKIX. 



20 



THE MODERN SCHOOL OF ART. 



that the " History of the English People " in England began with the landing of 
those whom our benighted fathers, in their pitiable ignorance, called "Anglo- 
Saxons." Anyway, there were no English in Britain in Roman times, and the 
dazzling fairness which Mr. Alma-Tadema attributes to the native matron should 
hardly be more than what is common to Welsh or Irish women now. Mr. Alma- 
Tadema is perhaps more 
secure in his Eoman than 
in his British history, and 
all his Romans in the 
" Hadrian " are historical 
personages, the heads hav- 
ing, in fact, been studied 
from the antique portrait 
busts. Hadrian himself is 
a stately figure in purple, 
standing at the head of a 
staircase (this artist has 
always appreciated the 
taking effect of the abrupt 
perspective of a staircase 
in composition), and near 
him is Lucius Verus, whose 
son Commodus was after- 
wards about as abominable 
an Emperor as any of the 
line. The Imperial suite 
are grouped behind. Sa- 
bina and Balbilla, in their 
graceful draperies, are 
standing near the potter's 
wife. Perhaps it is on 
the pottery that Mr. Alma- 
Tadema has spent the most pains and the greatest erudition. He made studies in 
half a dozen museums, metropolitan and provincial, and the principal objects are 
absolute portraits of famous pots of the period. In fact, the perfectly passionate 
study of pottery into which the enthusiastic Academician threw himself may be 
considered to be the raison d'etre of this work, and the subject is said to have 
been suggested by Mr. Minton. The flower-painting in the "Hadrian" is, as 
usual, exquisite. Flowers, with their vegetable individualities and definite life, come 
somewhere between pottery and human faces ; and Mr. Alma-Tadema treats nothing 
more delightfully than he does these lovely organisms. "A Reading from Homer" 
(1885) hardly repeated the triumph of the Sappho," in spite of some exquisite 




HEKR BAUNAY AS MAKK ANTONY. 



LAURENS ALMA-TADEMA. R.A. 



21 



passages. Perhaps 
the size was against 
it. It might be 
difficult to say why 
Mr. Alma-Tadema's 
work is unwelcome 
in anything ap- 
proaching life-size. 
In the "Apodyte- 
rium " of the fol- 
lowing year he re- 
turned to the scale 
that suits him so 
well. 

At Paris, in 1878, 
our artist was fully 
represented by the 
" Au dience at 
Agrippa's," "A Ro- 
man Garden," "The 
Picture Gallery," 
"The Sculpture Gal- 
lery," " After the 
Dance," "A Pyrrhic 
Dance," "A Fete 
Intime," " The Vin- 
tage," " A Roman 
Emperor, "and "The 
Death of the First- 
born " the last- 
named being per- 
haps the only in- 
stance of thorough 
tragedy in this 
artist's work. It 
presents a mournful 
group of Egyptians 
in a house stricken 
with the last and 
most fearful of the 
plagues. In the 
winter of 1882-3 the 




THE WAY TO TUB TEMPI*. 



22 THE MODERN SCHOOL OF ART. 

Grosvenor Gallery exhibition was devoted to his works, and it certainly offered a 
rare record of the brilliant and beautiful labour of a life still in its vigour and prime. 
Mr. Alma-Tadema drew closer the ties that bound him to England by marrying 
an English lady, Laura, youngest daiighter of Dr. Epps. Her own artistic power 
is exceptionally great ; she has apparently studied colour in her husband's school ; 
nor could he, in this respect, have found a disciple of finer eye and purer taste. It 
was, as we have seen, in 1873 that Mr. Alma-Tadema became legally an Englishman ; 
and in 1876 the Academy awarded him the official recognition which had long been 
due by electing him to the Associateship. On the 19th June, 1879, he obtained full 
Academical honours. 







CHARLES LUTYENS. 




E. FRANCIS GALTON remarks, in his "Hereditary Genius," that there 
can be no donbt that artistic merit is to some extent hereditary, and 
that it would he easy to collect a large number of modern names to 
show how frequently the artistic talent is a family possession. Charles 
Lutyens affords a good and pertinent illustration of Mr. Galton's theory. 
The elders of the house which, as the name implies, was originally Danish 
exhibited in a marked degree the artistic tendencies and the artistic capacity 
which characterise their descendant. 

Although he has bestowed much time and attention on landscape-painting, Mr. 
Charles Lutyens has devoted himself more especially to the painting of portraits, 
both human and animal. He possesses in a high degree the qualities which go to 
make a good painter, and he' is especially distinguished for the earnestness which 
he throws into all that he undertakes. This is evident in the many canvases he 
has exhibited, in all of which he displays that thorough grasp of the subject without 



24 



THE MODERN SCHOOL OF ART. 



which it is difficult for a picture to be impressive, however good the details may 
be. Bom in 1829, at Southcot House, near Eeading, he displayed at a very early 
age an unmistakable bent for art. At the outset, however, he met with obstacles 
which for the time he was unable to surmount. His father an old soldier imbued 
with the ideas against art and artists which were only too prevalent at the time, 




HAKNESSINO THE BLACK HOUSES. 



discountenanced what in his eyes was merely a youthful and impracticable whim. 
He had destined his son for a military career, one of the few careers which in 
those days were considered fit for an eldest son with a patrimony; and this destiny 
for a time, at least was fulfilled. Sacrificing his own inclinations to his father's 
wishes, Mr. Lutyens studied for the army, and in 1848 obtained a commission in 
the 20th Kegiment, with which he served for five years in Canada. Soon after the 
creation of the School of Musketry at Hythe, he was appointed on the Staff as 
Assistant-Instructor, and remained some time attached to that establishment. But 
if the calling of his choice was denied to him as a profession, there was nothing 



CHARLES LUTJtiNS. 25 

to prevent his following it as a pursuit. During the whole of his military career 
he eagerly and earnestly devoted every spare moment to the study and practice of 
art, steadily developing the aptitude and increasing the capacity which he possessed. 
At last the artist in him triumphed, and the soldier was beaten off the field. 
Yielding both to his own wishes, and to the urgent representations of the many 
friends he had made in the art-world, he resolved, on obtaining his captaincy, in 
1859, to retire from the army, and devote himself entirely to the profession which 
had always been the object of his ambition. He entered the studio of Baron 
Marochetti, who, with characteristic perception, had understood that in the young 
captain of infantry there were the makings of a good painter, and had been mainly 
instrumental in inducing him to take up art as a career. It is perhaps not 
generally known that Marochetti in early life had practised painting, and had been 
a friend of the illustrious Gericault. 

Lutyens studied with Marochetti for nearly eight years, during which period 
he made the acquaintance of Edwin Landseer, then at work on the lions of 
Trafalgar Square, an acquaintance which ripened into the warmest friendship and 
intimacy. It is not surprising that under such guidance so apt a pupil should have 
made his mark in art. His first contribution to the Eoyal Academy (1804) was a 
portrait of the children of Mr. and Mrs. (now Sir Robert and Lady) Hay, with 
a pony a large and powerful composition. It occupied a prominent place, and 
attracted much notice. In 1866 his old friends of the Hythe School of Musketry 
showed their appreciation of the talent of their former comrade, by requesting him 
to paint a full-length portrait of General Hay, which was presented by subscription 
to the School, and now hangs there in the mess-room ; also full-length portraits of 
the late General Haliday and General Eadcliffe, Inspectors-General of Musketry. 
In these and many others of his compositions he discarded the stereotyped acces- 
sories of portrait-painting. There is little doubt that conventionality in surroundings, 
suggestive of weary sittings and studied attitudes, detracts much from the effect of 
many portraits of unquestionable merit in themselves. Lutyens was not slow to 
perceive this, and he has not scrupled to free himself, whenever he has considered 
it advisable, from the shackles of tradition. In lieu of the formal background of 
drapery or balustrade or conventional landscape, he generally introduces in connec- 
tion with his model some incident of country or domestic life. His hunting men 
are portrayed in the midst of some picturesque or stirring episode of the chase ; his 
children, with a pet pony or dog. The picture which is the subject of our full- 
page engraving is a very good example of his style. This composition, entitled 
" Major Browne, Master of the Northumberland Hounds, and Daughter, Crossing 
the Coquet River," was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1878. The figures are 
full of life and vigour, and the grouping is judicious and effective ; the brawling 
stream with the copse in the background, and the meadow dotted with tardy red 
coats tailing off in the distance, form a spirited and pleasing landscape. Nor has 
the artist neglected details, of which indeed he exhibits a great mastery. The 
33 



26 THE MODERN SCHOOL OF ART. 

wet coats of the hounds, for instance, as they emerge from the water, are ad- 
mirably painted, and the dogs themselves are life-like. The picture has a freshness 
and a vigour about it which are very taking. In striking contrast is the original 
of another engraving, " The Harnessing of the Black Horses," painted for the Earl 
of Bradford when Master of the Horse. It depicts an incident of life in the Eoyal 
Mews. These horses, which are of a peculiar breed, are only taken out with the 
cream-coloured ones on State occasions. Hence the solemnity with which the 
coachman, in all the gorgeous splendour of his office, superintends the putting to 
of the royal roadsters. They are painted with much skill and power, whilst the 
homely appearance of the child, who looks on apparently unimpressed by the gravity 
of the occasion, brings the resplendent surroundings into still greater relief. 

Where Mr. Lutyens excels is in his portraits of horses. Here the sense of 
truth which characterises all his works can be brought into full and advantageous 
exercise. He is a lover of horses, he is versed in their management and habits, 
he has a perfect knowledge of their "points," he is a hunting man himself; and 
his portraitures are very evidently the outcome of a union of sound talent and 
practical experience. Newmarket, which he visited for the first time, professionally, 
in 1874, may truly be described as the scene of some of his greatest triumphs. 
Since that date he has painted portraits of many celebrated racehorses, including 
Doncaster, Sefton, Marie Stuart, Isonomy, Gang-Forward, and King Lud. The first 
and the two last portraits obtained the honours of the Academy, but in all a finish 
and power of execution are displayed which won for the artist a well-deserved 
reputation, not only among painters, but among sporting men and owners of horses. 
The portrait of Doncaster, especially, attracted much attention in Paris, and an 
eminent patron of the turf is reported to have described it, tersely but truly, as a 
princely portrait of a princely horse. Of special excellence, too, are two groups 
of mares and foals, painted for Mr. Sterling Crawfurd. Indeed, almost all Mr. 
Lutyens' portraits are so full of sincerity and vigour that it is doubtful if any- 
thing so good has been done since the days of Stubbs. In dwelling upon the 
portraiture of these studies of animals we intend to lay special stress upon their 
character as studies of the individual horse. The knowledge that produces such 
likenesses is not entirely and technically artistic. It is not the kind of knowledge 
that can make an artist for artists a painter's painter, as there have been poets 
for poets. Nor can it be claimed for Mr. Lutyens that in such qualities as illu- 
mination, handling, ensemble, surface, colour, and " values," his work takes a high 
place in aesthetics. Nevertheless, the power of draughtsmanship, which stands high 
in all true aesthetic art, is indispensable to the portrait-painter of horses. He must 
be not only correct, but able to define by drawing those differences of form which 
differentiate this year's Derby winner from last year's. If this is not altogether 
"art," it is very near it. And certainly it appeals in England to an enthusiastic 
public for whom art pure has little interest. It is characteristic of England and 
of widespread English tastes that a horse's portrait is always attractive, not to the 




jj 

~ 

; 



g 
o 

H 

a 
g 



28 THE MODERN SCHOOL OF ART. 

"horsey" alone, but to the many who have no technical knowledge of horseflesh. 
Artistically, Mr. Lutyens may be classed in the school of Landseer, and accordingly 
we find that he was much guided by the example of that once famous animal- 
painter. An aptitude of so special and marked a character was hardly likely to 
escape the notice of the elder artist, who assisted his quondam pupil with much 
valuable and judicious advice. Community of ideas in art, added to personal 
sympathy, had created between the two a friendship which lasted until the death 
of the elder, and which undoubtedly exercised on the career of the survivor an 
influence which can be traced in his works. 

For some years the friends met almost daily. On one of these occasions, a 
question was raised as to whether it would not be advisable that Mr. Lutyens should 
go abroad to study, in conformity with the practice of many English artists, where- 
upon Landseer is related to have exclaimed with characteristic impetuosity, " The 
Continent ! why not stay at home and study that grandest of Old Masters, Nature ? " 
Lutyens took the advice, and consequently accepted a position outside the com- 
petition of technical European art. But in his more recent efforts he has fully 
justified the opinion of his illustrious friend, and more than sustained his claim to 
be considered a painter of no ordinary merit. With much landscape he has painted 
several portraits. He has produced a testimonial picture to Lord Huntingdon, a 
large presentation picture to Mr. Eolleston, of Nottingham, and a portrait of a 
racehorse for the Earl of Bradford. One of his later contributions to the Academy, 
the portrait of Miss Gallwey, daughter of General Gallwey, attracted on varnishing 
day that notice which is so often the precursor of a lasting and well-deserved 
approval. It is, indeed, 'a very charming picture. It represents a pretty, grey- 
eyed, brown-haired girl with a bouquet in her hand, peeping out of a half-opened 
door. The pose is very graceful, and the colour is pleasant and appropriate. 
Another contribution, a portrait of Thebais, the winner of the Oaks of 1881, has 
the ability which characterises Lutyens' work ; but it is not a large picture, and 
it was hung too high for inspection, much more for the admiration it deserved. 
This, as we know, is the fate of much excellent work ; but it is none the less 
mortifying for being thus general. 

Since then Mr. Lutyens' record has comprised a larger number of portraits 
masculine and feminine likenesses in everyday life, and those hunting portraits 
which are so keenly interesting to hunting men and lovers of horses and dogs, 
though the idyllic painter may be inclined to grudge them wall-room. Our Royal 
Academy should have space and to spare for all good work, whatever its class 
and whatever its subject, and it is pleasant to note that there has hardly been a 
single exhibition there without an example of Mr. Lutyens' vigour, knowledge, and 
skill. 




AT THE GOLDEN GATE. 

(From the Painting by Val Prinsep, Jt.A.) 




(from tlu Drawing by Legros.) 



VAL PR1NSEP, R.A. 

|O those who are curious in the science of first impressions, and of their 
effect on the infantine mind, a record of the birthplaces of eminent 
painters would have a singular interest; nor would it be altogether with- 
out its significance to the less subtle outer world. One thing which it 
would disclose on the surface is the large number of instances in which even 




30 THE MODERN SCHOOL OF ART. 

typically English painters have been born away from British soil. Sir John Millais, 
it is true, whom we usually assign to the Channel Islands, can be claimed by 
Southampton ; Miss Clara Montalba, with all her foreign graces of style, is a native 
of Cheltenham; Mr. Boughton was born here, and Mr. Hennessy in Ireland their 
Americanism dating from the age respectively of three and of ten. But Mr. Whistler 
is American born ; Mr. Alma-Tadema is from West Friesland ; M. Legros comes from 
Dijon, where his great "Ex Voto " hangs in the public gallery; Mr. Hubert Her- 
komer is from Bavaria; and M. Tissot is a native of Nantes. And the list is by 
no means exhausted ; for Mr. Ouless was born in St. Heliers, Mrs. Butler at Lausanne, 
and Mr. W. F. Yearnes in Southern Russia, while Mr. Val Prinsep, the subject of 
the present sketch, owns India as his native land. 

Although he left Calcutta at an early age, Mr. Prinsep continued to be con- 
nected with Hindostan. He belonged to what is called an Indian family. More 
than a century ago his grandfather left the Warwickshire vicarage of his father for 
the distant East, notwithstanding a warning which the parson received from a 
friend, in a letter still preserved, that " Clive was the very devil." The boy sought 
his fortune, and won it. Of the next generation of the family no fewer than seven, 
were in India at the same time. One of these, Mr. James Prinsep, first started a 
feeling for historical research in the Dependency ; and another bhe father of the 
painter rose to be a member of the Council of India, and died in England, after 
sixty-five years of service. "His honoured days," says his son, "were spared to 
welcome my return from India " [after the painting of the Durbar] ; " but a fortnight 
after my arrival he fell asleep in the fulness of years, leaving for us, his children, 
and for his many friends, an example of that unselfish devotion to duty and un- 
assuming ability found in many of those who have by their unrecognised labours 
made India what it is." 

Mr. Val Prinsep was himself destined for the Indian Civil Service ; but he 
gave up his appointment before he had completed his two years' residence at Hailey- 
bury, and devoted himself to the study of painting. First he went to Versailles, 
then to Paris, where he was the pupil of Gleyre, and then to Eome. Nor were 
foreign influences the only ones at work. Then, as now, Mr. Prinsep was a warm 
admirer of Mr. Watts. In these early days he was also an acolyte of Dante 
Gabriel Bossetti, and his first picture was all after the manner of the Pre-Raphaelite 
school : a manner which was only a passing one with him, and which he abandoned 
mainly under the influence of one who is now his next-door neighbour in Holland 
Park Road, the President of the Royal Academy. 

That first picture portrayed " How Bianca Capello sought to Poison the Cardinal 
de' Medici." It was hung on the line at the Royal Academy, to which the painter 
has contributed yearly ever since, and which elected him Associate in 1878. Very 
much in the order in which they were exhibited are "My Lady Betty," "Belinda," 
"Jane Shore," "Miriam Watching the Infant Moses," "A Venetian Lover," 
"Bacchus and Ariadne," "The Death of Cleopatra," "News from Abroad," "The 



VAL PRINSEP, R.A. 31 

Harvest of Spring," "Lady Teazle," "Newmarket Heath The Morning of the 
Eace," "The Gleaners," "A Minuet," "The Linen-Gatherers," "Heading Grandi- 
son," and "A Bientot " the last three heing the works by which their painter 
was represented at the Paris International in 1878. Of these we reproduce "Jano 
Shore," "The Gleaners," and "The Linen-Gatherers," the last-named one of the 
most attractive Academy pictures of its year. The breezy subject is pleasant, and 
the composition has that processional movement, added to quaint zigzag forms, 
which always takes the eye. The artist was happy, too, in treating, with only 
slight idealisation, one of the few paintable passages of English country-life still un- 
hackneyed, because unsought by the conventional lovers of the picturesque. His 
linen-gatherers straggle homewards over the downs with the gait and aspect of 
nature ; and this rare merit is united with solidity of drawing and of execution. 

In was in 1870 that Mr. Prinsep received, somewhat unexpectedly, a commission 
which not only resulted in one enormous canvas, but which led to his treatment 
in a number of smaller pictures of those Eastern subjects with which his name and 
fame will always be linked. Queen Victoria was to be proclaimed Empress of 
India in an Imperial Durbar at Delhi, and the Indian Government wished to have 
a picture of the brilliant scene to offer as a present to the Empress-Queen. Lord 
Lyttou, with all the imagination of the poet, suggested in his telegram that Mr. 
Prinsep " would be able to make all necessary memoranda during the week the 
assemblage had to last." No such delusion flitted through the brain of the resolute 
artist, who, however, set out without delay for what was, after all, the land of his 
birth, and who was prepared to follow the Rajahs into their own quarters and sue 
for " sittings." This he did, as is well known to two publics the artistic and the 
literary. A whole year was devoted to making the portrait studies which were 
to appear a little later in the great canvas occupying a wall to itself in the 
Royal Academy ; and during that period Mr. Prinsep saw as much of India as 
has perhaps been seen by any one man ; and what he saw he put down in a diary, 
which was subsequently published under the title of " Imperial India." In that 
volume we are allowed to accompany the artist on the travels which his great under- 
taking involved. We follow him from Bombay across the great continent eastward 
to Allahabad, northward to Rajpootana and the Punjab, into the high valleys of 
Kashmere, down through the plains of Southern India to Madras and Mysore ; we 
see him, perhaps with something like dismay on his face (a face, by the way, 
which Mr. Legros has rendered in our engraving with a quite masterly individuality), 
when he first saw the ugly erection of glass and iron, with reds and blues as crude 
as any which the Crystal Palace could show, in which the great ceremony took 
place ; and then we go with him in the after-pursuit of Rajah, Maharajah, and Nizam, 
and watch him while he paints them in the insufficient light of their palaces, in 
the "prickly heat," and amid the irritating din of horns and the evil thud of tom- 
toms. Holkar was what the artist calls his "first victim." "I never saw a man 
so bored," says Mr. Priiisep; but he frankly adds that he himself was bored equally. 




JANE SHORE. 
(From the Collection of the late Captain Hill} 



VAL PRINSEP, R.A. S3 

He made a bad start, and was horrified when the dreamy potentate, at the end 
of an hour, asked to see what had heeu done. " Ah ! " sighed the artist by way 
of saying a "no" to which even a Maharajah could hardly object, "the great God 
himself took at least five-and-twenty years to make your Highness as beautiful as 
you are ; how, then, can you expect me to reproduce you in half an hour ? " 
Holkar smiled, and was, the artist flatters himself, " tickled." 

In the course of his Indian tour, however, Mr. Priusep stumbled on some 
dramatic incidents by which he could hardly fail to be impressed. Whether they 
will ever be turned to account by him on canvas, or whether they will suggest 
situations for the stage, remains to be seen. Here, for instance, is a story from 
Ulwar. The Rajah of that State set envious eyes upon the neighbouring Rajah of 
Jeypore, because the latter had within his circle a beautiful Nautch girl. Vast 
sums were offered to Ganga such was her name if she would leave Jeypore and 
come to Ulwar. She yielded, and a dale of fast-trotting bullocks conveyed her to 
her new home. When she had been there but a short time, the Duke of Edinburgh 
arrived in India, and the Rajah of Ulwar was compelled to leave his place and to 
take part in his Royal Highness's reception. What would become of Ganga in his 
absence ? The thought that she might return to Jeypore and the rival Rajah was 
too much for Sheodan Sing, and before his departure he offered to marry her in 
a left-handed fashion : she had gold bangles fastened on her feet, and was taken 
into the zenana. Again the woman's vanity in Ganga was touched, and again 
she yielded. But once in the zenana, there was no escape. She was perpetually 
imprisoned with rival queens, who, belonging to noble families, looked down on 
her as the dirt of the earth. Still, she stayed on forgotten by the Rajah, who 
never saw her again, but who had his triumph in swaggering past the Rajah of 
Jeypore and boasting that he had singed his whiskers. In vain she wrote and 
begged to be liberated. In vain her old mother flung herself at the feet of the 
political agent with a similar petition. The zenana was sacred ; what could he do ? 
So Ganga took the affair into her own hands, and starved herself to death. Another 
Rajah of Ulwar, who had also married a Nautch girl, had a son. When the Rajah 
died the marriage was declared illegal and the son illegitimate. The widow was a 
Mohammedan, and did not believe, as Mr. Prinsep puts it, that "Paradise was to. 
be attained by self-cremation." Yet, to prove the legality of the marriage, she 
actually performed suttee, and happily the British Government insisted on the 
acknowledgment of the boy's legitimacy. 

On his return to England, Mr. Prinsep composed his Durbar figures upon a 
canvas thirty feet long a length which almost gives his picture a place among the 
curiosities of art. Nor were the difficulties of the subject any less than the size of 
the canvas ; it was a giant among achievements which only a giant's strength and 
resolution could have produced. The single figures and simple groups which Mr. 
Prinsep has since painted must have seemed to him a holiday task in comparison 
with the greater effort. Among these were " At the Golden Gate," which we engrave, 

34 



34 THE MODERN SCHOOL OF ART. 

and " The Eoum-i- Sultana," exhibited in 1879, and purchased by the Prince of Wales. 
In the case of " The Golden Gate," the spectator may be left to make his own 
romance. There has evidently been some kind of "scene," for the broken cup on 
the floor tells tales, and the sultana whose hair, by the "way, is dressed in remarkably 
occidental fashion stands rebuked before the glorious golden portal of some tyrant's 
sanctum. This beautiful picture is principally a study and a very successful study 
of drapery in the small folds proper to the softer Eastern stuffs, and beloved by 
Greek art. In the " Kourn-i- Sultana " the subject is suggested by a tradition that 
Emperor Akhbar had among his wives a European a lovely blonde who lived apart 
in a pavilion of her own at Futteypore-Sikri. She reclines on cushions, and a black 
attendant fans her weary face. 

Since that eventful journey, Mr. Prinsep has kept almost entirely to Eastern 
subjects. He has proposed to himself the difficult task of reproducing India in a 
London studio. Even when the colour of the East can be practically remembered, 
it is not possible to recall the light. That can be painted only in light, with the 
surroundings of the local atmosphere. Of this any one may be convinced by looking 
at an out-door study done in the East, or, still better, in any part of North Africa, 
with an out-door study done on a bright day in England. The former resembles a 
tune transposed into a higher key. Accordingly, Mr. Prinsep's Anglo-Indian pictures 
are emphatic in colour but not high in illumination. They are, nevertheless, 
interesting as thoroughly authentic and trustworthy presentments of landscape and 
of architecture. The series has been broken by an occasional portrait, by one 
illustration of Scandinavian legend, " The Death of Sigurd the Strong," in which 
the old warrior is shown apparelled in all his armour for the dignified ceremony of 
death, and by "The Dole," a scene of the distribution of loaves to the poor by some 
English clerical charity of ancient foundation. 

That Mr. Prinsep is a theoretic as well as a practical artist is proved by the 
severe but sensible speech which he made after distributing the prizes to the City 
School of Art a few years ago. Mr. Prinsep did not spare modern deficiencies. 
"Although the world had progressed generally," he said, "in matters of art we had 
not progressed at all. He was not talking of geniuses that arose perhaps once in 
a century, nor even of eminent artists whose works they saw every year in the 
exhibitions, but he was talking of the mere artistic level of work in England, and 
he thought everybody of education would agree with him that it was not up to 
the old mark. If he wanted a piece of ironwork, with a scroll of fruit, flowers, or 
other ornamentation, he found it very difficult to get, whereas if he went into 
any town on the Continent or to many an old trader of old London he should find 
example after example of the work he wanted. Again, give a few pieces of coloured 
rags to a savage, and he would turn out something that would be quaint and 
grotesque, yet still harmonious ; but with all the advantages of the workmen they 
could often do something that was neither harmonious nor beautiful, and was certainly 
grotesque. The workmen of this country were as skilled as ever. Metal-workers 



VAL PKINSE1', R.A. 



35 



could make a machine, and fit it together with absolute mechanical exactness in 
fact, there was the skill, and more skill than of old. How was it, then, that tho 
work turned out was not so good ? It was because perfection had killed beauty ; it 
was science that had ruined art ; it was the march of civilisation that had trodden 
out sentiment. They all knew what sentiment was. They knew how a great singer 




THE OLEANE11S. 
(By Permission of Sir Jotepli Paue, Ban.) 



stirred their hearts by a song, which sung by another, though, in time, tune, and 
rhythm, did not move them at all. So a great actor giving with emphasis and sen- 
timent words of inferior poetry would bring down a house, while an inferior actor re- 
hearsing a scene of Shakespeare dealing with the finest poetry ever written would 
leave nothing but murmurs behind. A painter might paint a picture, apparently 
perfect, and yet that picture would not be a popular picture or successful. Another, 
again, would paint a picture full of glaring faults, and that picture, with sentiment, 
would be popular and agreeable. Thus he came to ask how it was that good 
workmen nowadays had not the sentiment of the past. It was because the workman 



36 



THE MODERN SCHOOL OF ART. 



of the past got his sentiment partly from education though he had little of that 
compared with the present but mostly from his surroundings. The London of that 
day was a picturesque gathering of houses round the Gothic fahric of St. Paul's. 
Every house was rich in shape and features, and in the streets, bustling and busy 
enough, were the bright robes of many a lady. In close vicinity were the fields, 
with flowers and birds, for the lark yet sang in Lincoln's Inn Fields, and the 




TH.B LINEN-GATHERERS. 



nightingale lingered in the gardens of the Temple, by the side of the unpolluted 
Thames, flowing among the swans. Besides this, the master worked in the centre 
of his men, whom he instructed with his experience and his knowledge, so that each 
workshop became a school of art, in which traditions of the handicraft were preserved 
with the greatest jealousy. And beyond this, the master-workman, and frequently 
the workmen themselves, were brought into immediate connection with the great and 
mighty of the land, at the time when the City had kings and princes. What wonder, 
then, when the workmen derived their reward from the fountain-head of honours, if 
they did their best, and had a sentiment which the present workmen were without. 
He was not one of those who thought that the world had not progressed. They 



VAL PRINSEP, R.A. 87 

had progressed enormously. People were better fed, better clad, better educated, 
and health was infinitely better looked after than in the old time. But it was an 
undoubted fact that civilisation had nibbed the edges of men until it had made 
them almost of the same mould. He might walk from the Tower to Tyburn and 
never see anything on men but sombre-coloured garments, while the ladies seemed 
to imitate the men's raiment as much as was consistent with the character inherited 
from Eve. The streets were larger and more convenient, but the houses, like the 
men, seemed made on the same pattern ; there were the same doors, and the same 
windows and roofs. The masters, too, had become grand men, dealing wholesale, 
and left the public to be handled by middle-men, who retailed only that kind of 
art-work that they thought sold best. No wonder that sentiment was crushed out 
of work. Science was different from art in this that science had no sentiment, 
whereas art could not exist without sentiment." Referring to how foreign com- 
petition with England had increased, Mr. Prinsep said he had little hesitation in 
recommending that workmen should be given an appreciation for art that was 
to say. a power of enjoyment, which was independent of the mere sensual enjoyment 
that man shared with other animals. He said he heard of manufacturing for 
Americans spades which could not be used by the regular English worker. The 
American had a spade with a fine edge, keeping a small crowbar to deal with stones. 
Using such a spade, an Englishman, would break half a dozen a day, because his 
only idea was to shove it hard into the ground. The one was an artist in digging, 
and the other dug without sentiment. In conclusion, he said that to draw a leaf, 
a flower, or the human face seemed an easy thing, but it was not so to draw with 
sentiment, derived from a thorough appreciation of what was drawn. 

Mr. Prinsep is a very ancient inhabitant of the artists' corner of the Old Court 
suburb. Long before Melbury Road existed, his substantial gabled red-brick house 
stood, side by side with Sir Frederick Leighton's dwelling, and over against the 
garden that backed Mr. Watts's old-world home. There was no general taste for 
ruddy brick and tiles in those days, and while these few artist-friends housed them- 
selves in charming forms and pleasant colours, the rest of the world was building 
itself Ionic and Corinthian porticoes, with a coating of paint, bearing balconies in 
bluntly moulded iron of abominable design. It has not taken many years to convert 
the world to the side of the artists. 

We have done but scanty justice to Mr. Prinsep the artist ; we must refer in 
still scantier terms to Mr. Prinsep the dramatist. Mr. Prinsep's literature is, of 
course, on another scale than Michael Angelo's or Rossetti's ; but his book on India, 
with its pleasant lack of premeditation, showed the possession of a ready writer's 
pen. And when a sprightly little play, called " Cousin Dick," won from the audience 
on the first night a call for the author, only the uninitiated were surprised to see 
Mr. Prinsep respond. " Cousin Dick," in 1879, was followed in 1880 by " M. le Due," 
with its good strong dialogue and its powerful situations; but since then the 
dramatist's talent has been in abeyance, at least as far as the public is concerned. 




MARK ANTOKOLSKY. 




|N a slum in Wilno there lived some forty years ago a poor orthodox Jew 
with many cares and a large family. All his life long he had struggled 
with Misfortune, but the stubborn goddess was stronger than he. She 
felt herself at home in his wretched little hut. She settled there, and 
kept her wolf continually at the door ; till her miserable host was worried 
off his wits, and looked as though he had run before his time to waste and 
ruin and decay. 

One of his many troubles was his son Mark. He was a lank, awkward, sickly 
boy, with an intense and thoughtful face. Chalk and charcoal were never out of 
his hand, and in his passion for making sketches he would forget to eat and drink. 
He drew on the fences, on the floor, on tables and chairs, and, terrible to relate, 
on the inner walls of the hut itself. He was often enough in trouble for Art's 
sake, and compelled to pay in his person in his ears and cheeks and otherwhere 
for the lawless and unreasonable delight he took in her pursuit. But pains and 
penalties had no effect upon him. He would rub the sore places on his frame with 
an air of abstraction, and g& out and console himself immediately with another 
sketch. Once, when the Jews were preparing to make holiday, the great brick 
stove in his father's house had been elaborately whitewashed; it was not much, but 
it made the room look clean and cheerful, and it was a source of some pardonable 
pride. You may imagine the horror and indignation of the elder Antokolsky when, 
on his return at eventide, he saw on the front of the stove an enormous warrior 
flourishing a long sword, and as black as charcoal and inspiration could make him. 
This time the crime was so inhuman and extraordinary as to make the tweaks and 
slaps and pinches that were employed for minor offences seem ridiculously inadequate. 
The injured father took up a stick straightway, and the offending son received the 
soundest thrashing imaginable. It was well meant, no doubt, but it was singularly 
inefficacious. Next day he was sketching as vigorously as ever. 

His parents were so poor that he had to draw where he could. The commonest 
white paper was beyond his means ; and if chalk and charcoal had not been to be 
had for the gathering he would have fared but ill. His desire, however, was greater 



MA UK ANTOKOLSKY. 



39 



than his necessity; it gave him patience and ingenuity, and it compelled him to 
succeed. Domiciled under the same roof with him was a bookbinder, who was 




IVAN THE TERRIBLE. 



accustomed to cast forth scraps and shavings into the common yard. These the 
Jew boy gathered up with all diligence. He pasted them together; and in this 
way he made himself sketching blocks and canvases, and could draw without the 



40 THE MODERN SCHOOL OF ART. 

fear of a pair of red ears. Presently his father began to take his passion for drawing 
less tragically and with more intelligence ; and in no great while, that nothing might 
be lost and that money might be made as soon as possible, he apprenticed him to a 
carver. The lad became a craftsman at once, and was able to earn from twelve to 
fifteen roubles (some twenty-five to thirty shillings) a month, which for a small boy 
in an out-of-the-way provincial town is- an enormous wage. And all the while he 
stuck to his drawing, and plied his pencil diligently. He was now comparatively 
rich : he could buy paper and cheap water-colours. His talent and accomplishment 
got wind ; and presently the Governor of Wilno, a certain General Nazimoff, inquired 
about him, had him up for inspection, took an interest in him, and, finding that his 
one ambition was to improve himself in his art, and to become a student of the 
Imperial Academy of Arts in St. Petersburg, gave him a letter of introduction for 
the capital ; and with this in his pocket he went on his lonely way. 

The general's letter was almost useless, we are told, and for some time Antokolsky 
had to fight with poverty as for his life. In a sense he was well armoured enough ; 
for he had a will of iron, an indefatigable industry, an absolute devotion to art, and 
a heart and brain as full of ideals as a summer wood is full of songs. But times 
were desperately hard ; circumstances were desperately adverse. Antokolsky had 
ten roubles (a pound) a month from a certain Baron Ginsburg, it is true ; but five 
shillings a week is not enough to keep body and soul together, much less to study 
art upon. The Russian Academy of Arts was given over to the devil of pseudo- 
classicism. The subjects set at the examinations were all mythological ; aoid the 
students were cramped and hampered into the bargain with all manner of con- 
ventionalities and formal rules, without which it was not lawful for art to be or do. 
Originality, truth to life and nature, the very shadow of realism, were damned as 
vulgar and degrading. In painting there had been some feeble attempts to break 
these fetters. But sculpture was the docile slave of formalism, and seemed to exist 
but for the glorification of the dubious heroes of official Eussia. Vitaly, Pimenoff, 
Tolstoy, Baron Klodt once considered as stars of the first magnitude worked 
almost exclusively on public monuments. Whatever their task and whatever their 
theme, their attention was directed not so much to the capacities of their subject 
as art, as to its excellence as an opportunity of paying compliments in bronze to 
the powers that were. Vitaly modelled the Byzantine Emperor Theodosius and his 
wife in bas-relief for the Isaac Cathedral in the likeness of Nicolas I. and his 
Empress. Pimenoff, commissioned to produce an immense equestrian statue of 
Nicolas I. for the Winter Palace, represented his Emperor in the shape of St. 
George, helmed and armoured as a Roman warrior, with bare arms and legs, 
bestriding a fiery steed, and in the act of spearing the Dragon. All these master- 
pieces were absolutely worthless from the point of view of creation and conception ; 
all were feeble in execution ; all were touched with an inane effeminacy of expression. 
No doubt there were exceptions to the rule, and happy ones : Klodt's " Kriloff," 
for example, and the realistic essays of Kamensky, an artist of much talent, who 



MARK ANTOKOLSKY. 41 

died young. But, in general, the ideals and ambitions of Russian sculptors were 
as we have said ; and these ambitions and ideals were stronger and more imperious 
at the Academy of Arts than elsewhere. It is characteristic of Antokolsky that, 
in spite of his preposterous environment, he showed himself from the beginning an 
independent and daring artist. 

In 1864 he exhibited his first work, an alto-rilievo, a "Jew Tailor." In the 
teeth of rules and traditions the subject was presented not in gypsum, not in bronze, 
not even in marble. It was wrought in wood, as if the author had been a common 
carver, only anxious to appear a good craftsman, and without any ambition to 
become an artist. "Who knows?" says the art-critic Stassoff, "it was perhaps 
this very unassumingness of Antokolsky that won him the medal (second class, 
silver) he received at the exhibition." All the same, his work was an outrage upon 
official art. It represented a lean and hungry Jew, in the cap and caftan of his 
race, sitting cross-legged in the window of his little shop, and trying hard to thread 
his needle at the light, and so entirely absorbed in the effort that his eyes, his lips, 
and every muscle of his face are parties to the transaction. Antokolsky had often 
witnessed the achievement in the slum at Wilno where he was born, and where he 
had grown up an artist and a lover of Nature. He succeeded in its presentation 
because he was truthful and sincere. Next year he exhibited a second alto-rilievo, 
this time in wood and ivory. The subject was a country miser counting his money. 
It took the public by surprise. The reality of the type, the greed and cunning in 
the face, the truth of gesture, the uncompromising accuracy of detail and costume, 
were not less novel than astonishing. People at once began to look for something 
great from Antokolsky ; and he did not deceive their expectations. But they had 
to wait for it. Poverty and affliction were heavy on him ; and it was not until 
nearly five years after that he achieved his triumphant " Ivan the Terrible." This 
heroic savage, in whom Old Russia is incarnate, appeared to him garbed in his 
monk's frock, as one set between despair and the hope of grace, between the 
promises of Holy Writ and the memory of his many crimes, with the Bible on his 
knee and at his side the legendary sceptre tall, solid, shod with living steel where- 
with he tested the manhood of his nobles, and beat out the brains of his enemies, 
and took the life of his son. Thus it was that the great Tzar was revealed ; and 
as Antokolsky sculptured, so have we engraved. 

When he conceived this immortal work he was still starving on a pound a 
month. It would have been mere midsummer madness to think of a studio of his 
own. He tried to get one in the Academy ; but he tried in vain. He then asked 
permission to work there during the vacation in the sculptors' class-rooms ; and after 
a great deal of circumlocution the required permission was granted (1870), on condition 
that in return for it he mended all the broken noses and maimed hands and lame 
legs of the battered old bas-reliefs which had been sent in on account of the Academy 
gold medal. He began to work at his " Ivan the Terrible " with the passionate 
and indefatigable unrest peculiar to him. He wanted to finish it out of hand, under 
35 



42 THE MODERN SCHOOL OF ART. 

the impulse of a unique, unbroken inspiration. The incessant labour, the old 

unending hardships and privations, the miserable circumstances under which he 

lived and wrought, combined to make him seriously ill. He took a horrible cough, 

and began to suffer violently from pulmonary haemorrhage. He was obliged to leave 

his work, and go home and rest. In a month he was back again in St. Petersburg. 

There a new grief was in store for him. The class-room in which his model stood, 

by order of the academical authorities had been appropriated to other uses, and 

the terrible Tzar had been parcelled out in fragments, and stowed away in a lumber 

room under the roof. Antokolsky kept up his heart. He was worn to a shadow 

with hardship and illness ; he had no light to work in, and no room ; he was faint 

and giddy and tired ; but he laboured on. And at last " The Terrible " was finished. 

Naturally enough the artist's first idea was to show his work to his professors. 

He was a young man, however ; and none of them were interested in his work. 

Had it been a veteran's, like Pirnenoff or Baron Klodt, it would have been another 

pair of shoes. But it was only Antokolsky's ; and they declined to look at it. So 

the artist went and called on Prince Gagarin, the President of the Academy, and 

asked inspection of him. The President was very civil, told him that he had long 

had his eye on him, and that he would be delighted to come and see. He came ; he 

saw ; he was conquered. No such work had come from a Russian artist ; and he knew 

it, and was enchanted with the knowledge. Next day he returned with the Grand 

Duchess Maria Paulovna ; she was every whit as much astonished and impressed as the 

President. " The Emperor must see your work ! " she said in her ecstasy. But to 

make this possible another sacrifice was required of the artist. He was still under 

the tiles ; at such a height the Emperor and he were practically ten thousand 

miles apart ; and he was requested to cut up his work, and get it carried piecemeal 

downstairs, and set up in a bigger room on the ground floor. This he positively 

refused to do. The President was persuasive ; the Grand Duchess was benevolently 

imperious ; but the sculptor stood firm. Then, at a sign from Her Imperial Highness, 

a miracle was operated in the little garret. The floor became covered with exquisite 

tapestry ; fair windows appeared in its walls ; it grew glorious with costly furniture 

and silken hangings ; and one evening at six o'clock there was a strange and awful 

jingle of spurs on the narrow stairs, and in came the Tzar. He looked affably at 

the majestic presentment of his predecessor ; and he honoured the artist with a 

"gracious conversation": "Who are you?" "Antokolsky." "Where from?" 

"Wilno." "Very good, very good!" With that there was another strange and 

awful jingle of spurs, and the Tzar had vanished. 

The monarch's visit to the studio of the neglected young sculptor amazed and 
terrified the representatives of official art. "What have you done?" they asked 
Antokolsky. " I have done an ' Ivan the Terrible ! ' " was his rejoinder. Crowds of 
visitors began to besiege the Academy; and rapturous accounts of the new genius 
and his magnificent creation were on everybody's lips. The exhibition, in fact, though 
on a much smaller scale, had pretty much the effect of those of Verestchagin later 




PKTKH THB GREAT. 



44 



THE MODERN SCHOOL OF ART. 



on. The number of visitors was smaller ; but the surprise, the enthusiasm, the 
sympathy, the interest in the new man, and the new departure, were fully as intense. 
The statue was bought by the Government, and a bronze of it now adorns the 

Hermitage collection. In 1872 South 
Kensington endeavoured to obtain a 
gypsum cast. But Antokolsky was in 
Koine ; the negotiations fell through ; 
and South Kensington is wanting still. 
The "Ivan the Terrible" made 
Antokolsky an Academician, and so 
gave him a pension for life. He was 
sent off to Italy at once, as it was 
feared that his delicate health would 
break down under the amenities of 
the Eussian climate. In 1872 he 
exhibited his ' : Peter the Great," the 
original of our full-page picture, and 
in 1874 his " Christ Before the 
People." The great White Tzar, the 
immortal Builder of Ships, is march- 
ing on an enemy. The lines of An- 
tokolsky's figure are instinct with the 
heroic swagger, the irresistible will, 
the fiery and indomitable resolution, 
of his tremendous original. Thus 
might he have looked when he mar- 
shalled his lines at Pultowa ; thus 
when he challenged the barbarism of 
his own land and the civilisation of 
the West. The figure of the "Christ," 
however, is, as we think, the finer and 
the more original of the two. The 
conception is more human and pro- 
found ; the effect is nobler and more 
affecting. Antokolsky himself has 
described his intention in a letter to 
his friend StassofF, and we shall not 

scruple to quote his description. "I shall make Christ," writes the Jew, "a re- 
former who rose in revolt against the exclusivenes^ and injustice of the Pharisees 
and Sadducees, who proclaimed the Kingdom of Truth and Brotherhood and Freedom 
on Earth for the very people which in its fury and blindness cried ' Crucify him ! 
crucify him ! ' I have represented Him as standing before the people for whom He 




CHRIST 1IEFOUE THE PEOPLE. 



MARK ANTOKOLSKY. 4.5 

afterwards laid down His life, forgiving them, ' for they know not what they do.' " 
As it seems to us, his Redeemer oiitraged, bound, condemned, His meek head 
bowed beneath the stupid execrations of the churls He would have lifted to Himself 
is certainly the most moving and original in modern art. 

In 1875, when in Borne, Antokolsky produced, for the churchyard of Monte 
Testario, a monument to Princess Obolensky, a young lady whom he had known. 
She is sitting, in mute despair, on a great square stone at the entrance of her tomb. 
The conception of the work is strikingly imaginative. The pain, the infinite regret, 
the speechless sorrow in the sweet young face, are affecting in a high degree. This 
excellent work was succeeded by a series of achievements in all of which the master- 
thought is likewise one of defeat and the breaking of life. In his " Death of Socrates" 
(1876) the hero is shown to us cold and stiff in his chair, his arms inert and pendent, 
his head fallen forwards on his breast, as his friends and disciples may have seen 
him after the draught of hemlock. In " Irreparable Loss " (1876) there is presented 
the bust of a dead boy, pathetic and still on the white pillows in which he is laid. 
Then comes the "Last Sigh of Christ on the Cross" (1877), a poignant realisation 
of the supreme agony, the ultimate and consummate pang of the hour upon Calvary. 
And then the famous " Head of John the Baptist " (1878), couched in grisly and 
awful quiet on the charger of Herodias, with the broad keen glaive beneath it that 
has just sliced through nape and throat ; and the " Baron Ginsburg " (1878), a 
kind of threnody in marble. We should add that these "sculptured elegiacs," 
these material and abiding laments, are no mere illustrations of the primal curse of 
mortality. In all the dominant idea is one of sorrowfulness and of reproach is the 
idea, in fact, which animates the "Christ Before the People," and makes the figure 
not only live for us, but seem charged with heroic and tragical significance. 
The sculptor's meaning is but too plain. He has seen that it is the wont of the 
mob to persecute and destroy its benefactors ; and his work is one long descant, 
in terms of heartfelt melancholy, on the vanity of human effort and the sorrowfulness 
of human destiny. 

Besides these, Antokolsky has produced a number not yet exhibited. The most 
important is certainly the " Spinoza." The famous Jew is represented at the most 
tragic pass of his life. His writings have been burned by the hangman ; he lias 
been twice anathematised ; he is utterly forsaken; his last days are upon him. He 
is a bent and broken man of five-and-thirty his face rather Dutch than Hebraic 
in type. He is sitting mournful in a chair, his hands are crossed helpless upon his 
breast, his knees are covered with a rug. The pen has fallen from his grasp ; a 
half-folded letter a letter of ill news, no doubt lies on the floor at his feet. 

Antokolsky, whether treating in marble the Saviour of the world or a solitary 
and unhappy heresiarch, turns his hand to what is solemn and tragic in the history 
of action and suffering on earth. By this devotion to serious interests he has made 
himself a place unique in modern art. 





ARNOLD BOCKLIN. 

N the possession of a painter of undoubted genius, to which is allied a 
strong dose of eccentricity, the Germany of the present day is hardly 
behind France with Puvis de Chavannes and Gustave Moreau, or England 
with Edward Burne Jones. In Arnold Bocklin German by training 
and culture, though Swiss by birth she has a painter whose position in the 
German art- world of the time is one of even greater isolation and opposition 
than is in their respective countries that of the painters just cited ; an innovator, 
indeed, who for years past has been as vehemently attacked, and by his own circle 
of worshippers as passionately defended, as any Pre-Kaphaelite of our own, or in 
France any inventor of a new art-language antagonistic to reigning fashions, whether 
academic or ultra-realistic. 

In Germany the evolution of such an artistic personality as that of Arnold Bocklin 
is stranger and less open to explanation than are similar appearances among ourselves 
or pur neighbours. No recent phase of Teutonic literature or thought can be said 
to have generated or to be exactly reflected in his idealistic, pagan, yet thoroughly 
real art. He stands equally distant from the Germanic, classic, and archaistic schools 
of the revival which took place in the earlier part of the century those of Cornelius, 
Schnorr, Overbeck, and Kaulbach as from the semi-conventional romantic movement 
headed later by Karl Piloty, under the influence of Delaroche and kindred painters 
of the French school. The former styles were already on the wane at the commence- 
ment of Herr Bocklin's artistic career, and though the latter fashion was at that 
time in full bloom, it seems never to have seriously influenced his art. Still less 



ARNOLD nOCKLl.\. 



47 



has the master in common with the absolute, patient realism of the most modern 
schools of Munich and Berlin : a style which was no doubt in the first place generated 
by the youngest art of modern France, but which especially since the great Franco- 
German War has taken strong root and given forth fresh growths. There is, 
indeed, a remarkable analogy between what is now taking place in the schools of 
Germany and the direction given to Dutch art at the termination of the great wars 
of the Netherlands with Spain. There, as here, the tendency of the schools of 
painting was irresistibly strong towards the rendering of purely domestic incident 




A - I 1 A IDYLL 
(By ftminion of Count Schack.) 



and the unemphasised facts of outward nature. The fashion of the day was a patiently 
observant realism comfortably within the comprehension of all, soothing and charming 
those who, tired of war's alarms, and having attained a great end, gladly turned 
to the contemplation of the fruits of peace, and to a reproduction, aiming specially 
at truth and technical completeness, of even its most prosaic and unsuggestive scenes. 
With art of this type, as has been pointed out, Herr Bocklin has no feeling in 
common ; indeed, it must be concluded that no outward influence has any serious 
power for good or evil over him, but that his genius has irresistibly forced its way 
to the surface, occasionally assuming in its efforts distorted and eccentric forms, but 
for all that making its high imaginative powers, its pathos, and its ov. i tlo\viug vigour 
unmistakably felt. Herr Bocklin has always especially delighted in subjects combining 
landscape, idealistic, yet in its mam facts essentially true to Nature, with subjects 
drawn from the realms of myth and phantasy rather than from history and actuality 



48 THE MODERN SCHOOL OF ART. 

It is as a landscape and marine painter, under these conditions, that he has proved 
himself entitled to the first rank. Though in the beginning of his career he showed 
himself to a certain extent under the influence of the grave and noble art of 
Nicolas Poussin, and in at least one instance to be mentioned presently under 
that of a still greater master, Titian, he soon shook off all trammels, and worked 
out a style of his own. As a landscape-painter he developed one of the rarest and 
most enviable qualities the power to reproduce with fidelity the grand lines and 
calm, solemn beauty of Italian scenery as it is, without [the pseudo-classical re-arrange- 
ments which the conventionalities of the seventeenth century caused the masters 
of that time to adopt, thus compelling them to overload and mar their, in many 
respects, great and noble works. This special quality, so precious yet so difficult 
to define, of dealing thus untrammelled by tradition with the scenery of the South, 
necessitates no loss of idealistic effect, but on the contrary has for its chief 
characteristic a marked gain of poetical suggestion. It is a quality evidenced in 
but very few works, and among them in a supreme degree in those of our own 
Cozens and in the delicately beautiful landscapes of a living Italian painter, the 
gifted Signer Gr. Costa. Let it not be supposed, however, that Herr Bocklin's style 
has in other respects any analogy with that of either of the painters just named ; 
they do not differ more absolutely from each other in all respects than he does 
from both, save in this one inestimable attribute the power to see the real beauties 
of Italy undimmed by the questionable ornaments and conventionalities imposed by 
tradition. He is, especially in his later and more daring works, pre-eminently a 
colourist, and that in the higher sense : he is not content merely to produce a work 
made ornamental through the artful juxtaposition of brilliant and well-harmonised 
tints ; he makes of colour an all-important instrument of expression, varying cease- 
lessly according to the mood to be expressed, and enhancing by its vigour, its 
brilliancy, or its suggestiveness, the impression which the master seeks to convey. 
It would be hardly fair, or indeed possible, to judge Herr Bocklin's figures apart 
from their frame of sea or landscape ; they are often of extraordinary vigour, and so 
vividly conceived as, notwithstanding their subject, to pass from the bounds of the 
ideal into those of the real ; but it would be idle to deny that they are not 
infrequently defective in draughtsmanship and wanting in proportion. Yet, seeing 
that his special power and originality consist in the combination on equal terms of 
the human figure with landscape the one aiding the other, and making with it an 
inseparable whole these technical faults stand less in the way of a fair appreciation 
of his peculiar genius than would have been the case had its vehicle of expression 
been other than it is. 

With these same painter-poets whom we have cited Herr Bocklin has certainly 
this impatience of all conventional restraint in common ; but he has little else. 
Though like them he shuns all outward suggestion of modern life and its terrible, 
if pathetic realities, though like them he is a dreamer of dreams, yet he is rarely 
a lover of the allegorical or involved mode of representation. So vigorous and 







y hJ 

l/AslA^***' "<>-</ 

N U 



ARNOLD BOCKLIN. 49 

overflowing with life is his temperament, with such intensity does he conceive, and 
so powerfully does he realise the strange, fantastic subjects in which he delights, that, 
did not the designation savour of paradox, he might be fitly called a Realist in the 
Ideal. He succeeds so thoroughly in giving form and life to the mythical beings 
in a sense created anew by him, that the effect produced is often a startling one 
so strong is the contrast between the theme and its treatment ; nay, the boundaries 
which separate art from the purely grotesque are often reached and well-nigh 
transgressed. Herr Bb'cklin especially delights in delineating with much of the Greek 
feeling, though with little of the Greek form, the merman copper-hued and overgrown 
with seaweed ; the shaggy centaur, all beast in mood and well-nigh all beast in 
form ; the yet stranger sea-centaur a creation of the painter's own ; the old Triton, 
the sea-nymph flying from pursuit through the blue deep. In his milder moods he 
loves to show us in the foreground of a landscape of peaceful beauty and exquisite 
charm the great god Pan reclined on moss-covered stones and fluting to the attentive 
Dryads, or a pair of antique lovers lying in the grass, made bright with innumerable 
flowers. These same marvellous creatures Bocklin's own, in so far as he has vividly 
embodied and presented them with a power never before attained recall the defile 
of strange monsters who in the " Classical Walpurgis-Night " pass before Faust and 
the Mediaeval Fiend : the poet has with wonderful skill put new life into the strange 
procession which he evokes ; and the painter, if no reverence for Greek myth 
or Greek culture has awed or controlled him, yet gives incomparable vigour and 
much of the antique spirit to his eccentric creatures. He is master, too, when he 
wills it, of the tragic and terrible mood, and the spice of the grotesque, which is 
often an element of his exuberance, rather enhances than imperils the intensity of 
the impression produced. 

Herr Bocklin is, in one way, the most uncertain of painters : according as his 
subject inspires him or not, he may produce a work original in conception, and 
supreme in beauty and suggestiveness of colouring ; or he may perhaps bring forth 
an eccentric and questionably drawn performance, insufficiently redeemed by its 
motive, and exhibiting the artist's scheme of colour in its unduly daring and 
exaggerated phase. These two moods of the painter can and do co-exist ; and what 
is more, he seems, like many creative artists, not always able to distinguish the 
wheat from the chaff. At a recent exhibition held in Berlin, where he brought 
forward one of his most complete and most genuinely inspired works, the " Prome- 
theus " landscape, presently to be described, he placed side by side with it a figure- 
piece so incomplete in technique that the highest recompense, which would inevitably 
have been accorded to bun for his masterpiece, could not in decency be granted. 
Like Turner, Herr Bocklin in his early time affected a more minute touch, and a 
more sombre and modest, though always a suggestive and poetical, scheme of colour, 
than is exhibited in his later productions. It is no doubt these early studies which 
have enabled the master in his later manner to display in landscape such brilliant 
case and maestria, allied to that rare power of suggesting, through the medium of 
36 




M 
o 6 



I 



ARNOLD BOCKLIN. ftl 

external Nature, Imman moods and sentiments, which even his most searching critics 
have not denied to him. It is, indeed, iu contact with Nature that his highest and 
noblest qualities are manifest and his art appears most moving and pathetic. The 
other side of his genius, if, indeed, it he possible thus to dissect it the boundless 
love for the fantastic, for the world of myth and imagination is characterised by 
a poetiy and charm all its own ; but it yet of necessity fails to attain the moving 
power which has been the gift of those whose art has more closely identified itself 
with humanity and its problems. 

One of Herr Bocklin's earliest patrons was the well-known author and dilettante, 
Count Schack, of Munich, whose fine gallery there, so liberally displayed to all 
who desire to make acquaintance with its treasures, contains most of the best 
works of his earlier and more moderate time, besides some more striking performances 
exhibiting his original talent in its maturity. It is through the courtesy of Count 
Schack that we are enabled to engrave three of the most remarkable of his works. 
The "Anchorite," though apparently one of the earliest, is one of the most perfect 
in technique of his works. The first suggestion and general outline of the picture, 
though but little else, have been obtained from Titian's noble " St. Jerome " at the 
Brera. Before a rude cross, planted half-way up a rocky incline, kneels the hermit, 
half-nude, scourging himself in passionate penitence. Overhanging the figure is a 
framework of the dark-green foliage of the ilex, rendered with great finish and 
perfection, through which are seen glimpses of a sky of exquisite purity : above 
and round about, descending into the branches, comes a great flight of ravens, 
attracted seemingly by the scent of blood. There is here some pathos, though not 
of the deepest, nor altogether commensurate with the opportunities afforded by 
the subject ; the impression produced is scarcely a strong or lasting one, notwith- 
standing the great pictorial charm which the work undoubtedly possesses. More 
striking is the very curious "Cave of the Dragon," to which the painter has 
himself appended the words of Mignon's immortal song : 

" Das Maultliier sucht im Nebel seinen Weg, 
In Hohlen wohnt der Dracheii alte Brut." 

Here is shown a mountainous gorge, bordered on either side with steep inaccessible 
rocks of rich and varied hue, half-way along which are seen muleteers with their 
beasts precipitately flying over a bridge. From a cave in the rock protrudes the 
head and half the form of a mighty dragon not the ordinary conventional monster, 
but a living creature, half huge lizard, half monstrous snake, with strange dull eye 
and gliding movement. Here the painter's power of realising and making probable 
the shadowy and the unreal is already fully manifest. 

In the " Storm " Herr Bocklin has dared his utmost in the combination of 
elements apparently the most heterogeneous, and by sheer force of genius has 
attained almost the exact measure of success which he sought. In the foreground 
of for the painter an unusually realistic landscape, in the delineation of which 



52 THE MODERN SCHOOL OF ART. 

he lias avoided all so-called romantic elements, having as its main feature a copse 
of green, harshly-toned willows bent double under a terrible storm of wind and rain, 
kneels a man in the dress of the sixteenth century, grasping a still reeking dagger, 
and gazing fixedly at a prostrate corpse. To the right appear the three Furies 
armed with their traditional snakes, yet half modernised. These are not the awful 
Erinnyes pursuing the avenger of Agamemnon, nor yet are they quite the gibbering, 
half-human hags of " Macbeth." They have assumed a weaker, a more degenerate, 
yet a more venomous aspect, though they seem themselves to suffer while they 
torture : the foremost stands a horrible vision half-nude, with clinging white 
draperies, shivering in the storm. With extraordinary subtlety the master has, as 
it were, laid bare to us by suggestion the nature of the- crime : all the realistic 
landscape, these strange Furies who are the " boser Geist " of the assassin shows 
irresistibly, yet in a fashion impossible to define, that the crime is no heroic deed, 
but the outcome of sordid greed or treacherous hate. Grotesque exaggeration is 
pushed to limits perilous indeed, and almost verging on caricature ; yet the purpose 
of the picture is so intense, the conception so vividly realised, that the painter's 
audacity is crowned with complete success ; the very grotesqueness enhances the 
terror with which the sordid tragedy inspires us. 

A measure of the same exaggeration arising in like manner rather from the 
fresh vigour and the intensity with which the subject is conceived than from a con- 
scious desire for sensational effect is shown in the well-known " Sea-Idyll," in the 
Schack Gallery. In the midst of a slate-grey sea, yet agitated by past storms, 
appears a Triton seated on a rock and blowing lustily into a red-hued shell; he is 
no mere classic monster, but a strange being, copper-coloured and half-clothed with 
fantastic sea-growths, full of life, and strikingly vraisemblable : on the same rock 
lies, half averted and well-nigh at full length, a Nereid, her form, too, half covered 
with a reddish seaweed, holding lovingly in her hand the head of a huge sea-snake, 
his skin deeply marked with the most vivid green and black. Notwithstanding 
certain exaggerations of colouring and conception, and some defects of design, too 
notably the imperfect drawing of the nude torso of the nymph the work is a 
typical specimen of Herr Bocklin's unsurpassed power of giving life and vigour to 
subjects the least easy to realise, because they are the farthest removed from human 
experience. 

Another notable evidence of the zest and unconventionality with which he 
depicts the strange sea-folk in whose existence he almost compels us to believe, is 
the still more important "In the Sport of the Waves," one of the chief attractions 
of the exhibition of the painter's works held at Dresden in the winter of 1883. It 
shows a sea-nymph flying half in sport from a monstrous scaly sea-centaur, who 
energetically yet helplessly pursues ; an old Triton laughingly shields a young sea- 
maiden, while other sea-folk sport in the blue agitated waves, delineated with 
masterly skill. Here the spirit of the conception is intentionally less an idyllic 
or poetic, than a downright comic and grotesque one; the artist seems to rejoice 



ARNOLD BOCK LIN. 



53 




with the sportive 
creatures of his 
fancy, and share 
in their overflow- 
ing animal vigour. 
In a similar half- 
naturalistic spirit 
is conceived the 
wild " Battle of 
Centaurs," one of 
the ornaments of 
the Munich ex- 
hibition of 1879. 
Here,again,though 
the master has pro- 
duced a version of 
his own as far 
removed in form 
from the Greek 
ideal as it is pos- 
sible to be, he has 
infused into his 
creatures so much 
of the pagan spirit 
and such intense 
life, that the an- 
tique conception is 
more truly realised 
than by the spirit- 
less copies of Greek 
sculpture which 
often do duty in 
the presentment of 
similar subjects. 
In a very different 
mood one, in- 
deed, not the most 
usual to him, as 
including with an 
almost epic breadth 

and dignity of conception certain elements of mystery Herr Bocklin must have 
conceived the "Prometheus" landscape, to which for elevation of style and pathos 



THE CAVB OF TUB DRAOOX. 

(Dy rirmiaion of Count Sctuek.) 



54 THE MODERN SCHOOL OF ART. 

few or none of his works can be compared. Out of the deep blue sea rise steep 
rocks, clothed with forest growth, over which tower mountain peaks, huge and 
inaccessible ; these are canopied by cloud-curtained skies, through which the sun 
darts a few pale, struggling rays, casting on the summits below a strange, unearthly 
light. Bound on the summit of the mountain lies the Titan, a vague and tre- 
mendous form, himself rather resembling a giant cloud than a definite shape ; the 
shadowy head lies on the highest summit, and the huge form is outstretched over 
mountain and valley. The obscurity of the painter's meaning, granting that it 
exists, is here inherent to the subject rather than evoked by the conception of 
the painter ; nor does it seem to call for any special effort in the way of inter- 
pretation. Yet it is quite possible to weave on so beautiful and suggestive a 
foundation inventions more or less poetical, and as shadowy as the Titan's own 
form. The power and beauty of the work are, however, manifest, and in no wise 
depend on such expositions ; its spells are cast alike over the emotions and the 
intellect, and are not to be withstood. 

In the painter's studio at Florence are said to be many interesting works 
(not seen by the writer), including a " Mary Bewailing the Dead Christ," a some- 
what unusual choice for the painter, who thus makes a return to one of the themes 
of his early time ; this perilously familiar subject he appears, according to all 
accounts, to have conceived with much pathos and in singularly unconventional 
fashion. Eeport speaks also very highly of an ideal landscape of great beauty 
suggested by an Egyptian scene. 

Herr Bocklin is a native of Basle, where are preserved in the museum some ot 
his earlier works, but he received his artistic training chiefly at Munich, and has 
passed his later years partly in Rome, but mainly in Florence, finding in the scenery 
of Italy a never-failing stimulus to his imaginative powers. It is stated that he 
now proposes to transfer his studio from Florence to Zurich. Such a migration is, 
in view of the peculiar quality of his art, somewhat difficult to understand ; but 
perhaps with the change of scene the gifted artist may obtain new inspiration, and 
find for his genius new fields and an enlarged scope. 





JOHN BAGNOLD BURGESS, A.R.A. 

F to come of an artistic stock were to command artistic success, Mr. 
Burgess's popularity were easily explicable on other grounds than those 
of merit and accomplishment. He has a highly respectable painter's 
lineage, for his immediate ancestors were all hidalgos of the palette. 
His is a congenital talent ; and he may be cited as a living argument in 
proof of the theory of heredity. 
About the middle of the eighteenth century there existed in Maiden Lane, 
Strand, an academy or school of art, which numbered amongst its students a certain 
lad whose name was destined to become perhaps the brightest in the roll of British 
painters. He was called Thomas Gainsborough, and he received the foundation of 
that artistic education which was to make him world-famous at the hands of one 
Thomas Burgess, who presided over the school. This Thomas Burgess was the 




50 THE MODERN SCHOOL OF ART. 

great-grandfather of the subject of this memoir ; but the hereditary transmission of 
a genius for art, so evident in this case, was not to be broken by a single link, for 
the son of Thomas Burgess, named William, became distinguished as a portrait- 
painter, in proof whereof a work of his elicited much commendation and inquiry 
some years ago at an exhibition of Old Masters at Burlington House. William in 
his turn had a son whose initials were H. W., and H. W. Burgess, the father of 
the present John, held the post of landscape-painter to King William IV. Other 
members of this gifted family likewise exemplified the general tendency, inasmuch 
as there was another Thomas Burgess, a landscape-painter of great promise, who 
died very young in 1807 ; whilst Lea v nington, until very recently, claimed as one 
of its notables an eminent water-colour flower-painter named John Cart Burgess. 
That a descendant from such a stock should have early manifested the spirit within 
him, and that he should in due time have attained a conspicuous place in the 
front rank of the artistic profession, is therefore not surprising. 

John Bagnold Burgess was born on the 21st of October, 1830, at Chelsea, 
and, like so many of his contemporaries, commenced his actual training in art at 
Mr. Leigh's academy in Newman Street, in 1848. Thence to the Royal Academy 
there was but one step, he being admitted there as a student in 1850. Much credit 
is due to him for the persevering manner in which he pushed forward towards his 
goal during his early life ; for he had the misfortune, when only ten, to be deprived 
by death of the guidance of his accomplished father, and in those days the ready 
means now to be found for carrying on the study of art did not exist. A youngster 
had to train himself as best he could, feeling his way amongst the antiqiies at the 
British Museum, or drawing from casts in his own home ; and much valuable time 
was wasted for the want of a little discriminating direction from a master. To some 
extent young Burgess found this at the hands of Sir William Boss, the miniature- 
painter, who undertook, as an intimate friend of his father, to look after the boy's 
art-education. Still, the help which he received was trifling until he entered Leigh's 
school ; and he says that he was astonished, when he at last got into the life school 
of the Academy, to find that he knew so much as he did, and that he was able, with 
but little exertion, to distinguish himself by carrying off the medal of the first class 
awarded in that institution for drawing from the life. His efforts to establish himself 
on an independent footing were begun by painting portraits, but his poetic and imagi- 
native nature soon began to resent the trammels of such comparatively prosaic work. 
An artist capable of thinking out and bringing to a successful issue such pictures as 
those by which Mr. Burgess has made his reputation, was not likely to be contented 
with the mere portrayal of modern ladies and gentlemen, albeit he gained doubtless 
much mastery over the brush by its exercise in that direction. Taking advantage 
of certain family connections residing in Seville, he very soon went off to Spain ; 
and had it not been for the tendency of the British public to associate certain artists 
with certain countries or classes of subjects, and to look upon others who may venture 
upon the same ground as pirates and poachers, there can be little reason why 



JOHN BAGNOLD BURGESS, A.R.A. 



57 



J. B. Burgess should not have become some time since as celebrated for his inter- 
pretations of Spanish life and character as was the late John Phillip. For be it 
remembered, although he goes chiefly to the Peninsula for his themes and inspirations, 
he in nowise follows in the footsteps of his elder and renowned predecessor. Beyond 
the fact that he paints Spaniards, his work no more clashes with that of John 
Phillip than the pictures of Webster or Faed, for example, clash with those of 




LICENSING BEOOAR8 IN SPAIX. 
(In the Collection of Thomat Taylor, Etq.) 



Wilkie, and it is surely rather hard upon an artist that he should have to live down 
a certain amount of prejudice against his work simply because some one has treated 
similar subjects previously. But we would say, pursuing this question a little 
further, except that their models are Spanish, the subjects which Mr. Burgess paints 
are not similar to those of Phillip. The latter by preference portrayed the gay, 
guitar-twanging, castanet-playing, holero-dancing, carnival-keeping, cigarette-smoking 
life of Seville, rather than that of the rough, ragged, dirty, sheepskin-clad, parched- 
up peasantry, gipsies, and contrabandistas of the Sierra Morena, with the surroundings 
of the low venta and posada, such as John B. Burgess chiefly delights in. Not, 
however, to continue the comparison, there has been, for any time these fifteen 
years past, enough and to spare of individuality and originality in his work to have 
warranted much earlier than he received it the award of an Associateship in the 

37 





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2 

S5 

3 
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JOHN BAGNOLD BURGESS, A.R.A. 59 

Royal Academy. So long ago as 1865 he established himself in the estimation of 
the public, as well as in the opinion of the best judges, as a painter of no mean 
power, by the exhibition of a picture at the Eoyal Academy which, from its nature, 
has been hard for him to surpass. It is not often that an artist can hit xipon a subject 
that lends itself so entirely to pictorial treatment as did that of " Bravo Toro." To 
describe it or dwell on it here would be gratuitous, well known and associated as 
the work is with the name of Burgess. Full of beauty and fine in colour, powerful 
in drawing, expression, and execution, it deservedly claimed, and has retained, a 
large meed of public favour; and if its painter has not always seemed to keep up 
to the high standard of excellence which it promised, the shortcoming may readily 
be attributed, as we have said, to the fact that equally telling subjects are not easy to 
find. If, upon Dr. Johnson's principle, those who paint the manners, tone, and temper 
of Spain with the veracity which is conspicuous in this artist, should themselves be 
Spanish in feeling and character, then assuredly Mr. Burgess is by right the very 
man for the work. One can trace through his frank, firm, yet tender English 
manner, and the excellence of his technique, which, if not of the most forcible, is 
decidedly above the English average, that vein of languid, graceful, semi-sensuous 
indolence that postponing till to-morrow (hasta manana) kind of sentiment which 
is so marked an element of the Spanish nature. It may be that something of this 
tendency accounts for the comparatively few large compositions which our limner 
produces. He works with industry, lovingly, diligently, but deliberately, as though 
he were revelling in the calm, warm atmosphere which he depicts, and in the 
midst of which any great display of energy or intensity, to adopt a modern phrase, 
would be quite out of place. 

Going back over the public record of his work, we shall revert only to such 
of his canvases as have displayed the especial charms of his brush. Thus, whilst 
the many single heads and figures which he has exhibited since 1865 are all more 
or less choice specimens, the really important works are scarcer until we come down 
to somewhat recent dates. Still, in 1866 " The Favourite Padre " might fairly have 
claimed for its painter more renown than it did, had it not been but just preceded 
by " Bravo Toro." This Spanish street-scene, where two priests, one fat and one 
lean, are receiving their salutations from, and distributing their blessings among, 
a group of their especial charges, was full of life and character, and displayed the 
keenest appreciation of all that is humorous, pathetic, and picturesque. The same 
may be said, far more emphatically, of "Stolen by Gipsies," which in 1868 
deservedly attracted great attention. An able review said of it : " It is unusually 
interesting from the strong appeal it makes to the sympathy of the spectator 
an appeal sustained by great power of expression. At a low Spanish inn, a haunt 
of gipsies and thieves, a pretty little girl, who has been stolen from some respectable 
family, is receiving or undergoing a lesson in dancing and in the use of the tam- 
bourine. The trouble in the poor child's face, and the keen repulsive raillery on 
the countenance of one of the two men who are teaching her, as well as the 



60 THE MODERN SCHOOL OF ART. 

compassionate look of a gipsy woman who has a child of her own and feels for this 
lonely little girl, are as good studies of expression as anything in this year's Academy. 
The two old men who are playing at cards, and the gendarmes just entering upon 
the scene, as yet unperceived, are as life-like in their way, though less powerfully 
dramatic. Mr. Burgess is very merciful to the spectator in introducing the messengers 
of justice on the staircase. It would have been too painful to think that such a nice 
little girl should have to pass her whole life in the company of these vagabonds, and 
we feel much satisfaction in the thought that she is just going to be released and re- 
stored to her anxious friends, whilst her captors will come within the grasp of the law." 

Making good use of the troublous times on which he fell during a visit to 
Spain in 1869, our artist gave us the following year a highly dramatic, picturesque, 
and telling reproduction of one of their many episodes. The scene was the interior 
of a church into which, during an emeute in the streets, some of the wounded 
were being carried for treatment ; the picture was full of pathetic and stirring 
interest. In a very different key was the work by which Mr. Burgess was repre- 
sented in 1871, bringing, as it did, into view an entirely new phase of his powers. 
Peace and domesticity succeeded turmoil and revolution, and we had in "A Visit 
to the Nursery" as healthy and strong a bit of English home-life and sentiment as 
ever graced Academy walls. The delightful old Colonel Newcome-like grandpapa 
in his tops, buckskins, and pink, who is paying " the visit," in company with the 
charming mamma, just before riding off to cover, should, even after this lapse of 
time, be remembered by all observant visitors to modern picture-shows. 

Unable, however, to remain long away from the land of his love, Mr. Burgess 
has continued since that year, almost without interruption, to exhibit none but 
Spanish or Moorish subjects. Thus in 1872 "Kissing Eelics in Spain" was his 
principal picture, and in writing about it at the time an able critic pronounces it 
to be broad and luminous in treatment and composition. In 1873 and 1874 we had 
evidence in "The Hush for Water: Scene during the Kamadan in Morocco," and 
"The Presentation: English Ladies Visiting a Moor's House," that the Straits of 
Gibraltar had been crossed for pictorial purposes ; but in 1875 there was an 
agreeable renewal of acquaintance with that quaintly humorous side of Spanish 
character in which the artist shows at his best. " The Barber's Prodigy," like 
"Stolen by Gipsies," was a really excellent picture, and was thus described at the 
time : " The barber, who has left his customer, a sturdy, rough-looking Spanish 
peasant, upon whom he has so far operated as to have well lathered his face with 
soap, is eagerly conversing with two priests and a gentleman, to whom he is 
showing some sketches made by his son, a boy-artist who is kneeling upon the 
floor in the centre of the picture, with portfolio before him. The humorous element 
introduced in the expression in the face of the indignant customer, left alone, 
ornamented as we have described, may be imagined. Mr. Burgess has supplied the 
requirement of beauty in the work in the barber's daughter, a charming girl, who 
is an interested spectator in the scene." 



JOHN BAGNOLD BURGESS, A.R.A. 61 

The list of his works for the years 1870, 1877, 1878, and 1879 includes 
"Feliciana a Spanish Gipsy," "Licensing the Beggars: Spain," "Childhood in 
Eastern Life,-" " Zulina," " The Convent Garden," and " The Student in Disgrace : 
a Scene in the University of Salamanca." "Childhood in Eastern Life" is a half 
humorous, half pathetic family scene, showing the forlorn and despised state of the 
girl-children, whom the father never names, and who are admitted into his presence 
only to see the honours and indulgences lavished by him and by his friends on the 
young lord of the creation, their brother. The facts are by no means exaggerated. 
Such English ladies as, in their travels in Egypt, have come into any social relation 
with Egyptian gentlemen, have invariably been amused and rather indignant at 
finding the little English maiden who is the pride of father and mother, passed 
over with absolute indifference by the courteous native visitor, who spends his 
whole vocabulary of compliments upon the British boy. And if this difference is 
so marked when it is a question of a European family, much more distinct and 
even painful does it become when the Oriental is in his own home. The pictures 
which immediately succeeded this on the walls of Burlington House viz., " The 
Professor and His Pupil" (1880), and "The Genius of the Family," "Ethel," and 
" Guarding the Hostages " (1881) if they were not quite equal in all respects to 
" The Student in Disgrace," were excellent in their several ways. Of two of these 
we give illustrations. The second, "Guarding the Hostages," maybe compared with 
the "Eush for Water" and the "Presentation." It is a striking little picture, 
Moorish as to its subject, and dramatic in intention and effect. The first, " The 
Professor and his Pupil " a very pleasant work brings us back into Spain, the 
Spain of Lazarillo de Tormes and the Gran Tacano. The old gentleman has lost 
himself in the geographical lesson which in the days of Spain's Colonial Empire 
formed so indispensable a part in the education of a young Spanish nobleman. He 
is peering upon the great globe as earnestly as if he were reading Peter Martyr 
and discoursing of the Admiral himself, or mapping out the victories of the mighty 
Marques del Valle. His pupil some dukeling, with a score of splendid names to 
his tail has little stomach for learning of any sort. He lounges in the great 
leathern chair, and cuddles his favourite hound. He would much prefer to be out 
and away, with hawk on wrist and spur on heel, a-pacing the beach, and looking 
for the wondrous galley and listening for the wondrous song he has read of in the 
ballad of Count Arnaldos. There are a great many English boys who will thoroughly 
agree with him. 

In more recent years Mr. Burgess has contributed to the Academy several 
scenes from the Spain of to-day among them that old but always interesting sub- 
ject, " The Letter Writer." The old man who makes it his profession to write 
letters for the unlearned, sits with his pen, and sand, and paper, and ink-horn, 
and a girl who has some impassioned message to send sits opposite, turning an 
undecided ear to the suggestions of a friend, whom we suspect of some subtle 
disloyalty. The girl herself is all sincerity and fire. On the other side a lazy 




a. 
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JOHN BAGNOLD BURGESS, A.R.A. 



63 



Andalusian, who doubtless has her own affairs, but does not take them tragically, 
leans laughing over the scribe's table, volunteering advice from her own gay point 
of view. An old woman behind looks gravely over the unfinished letter. The painter 
labels his picture, 
" In the Multi- 
tude of Counsel- 
lors there is 
Safety." In the 
same Academy 
(1882) was ex- 
hibited "Zara," a 
pretty little Ori- 
ental figure in 
green with a pink- 
and-gold veil. In. 
1885 came "Una 
Limosnita por el 
Amor de Dios " 

" a little alms for $Bffi" ; / 

the love of God " 
which speaks for 
itself as a bit of 
Spanish church- 
door begging. And 
the Academy of 
the following year 
had "An Artist's 
Almsgiving," the 
subject of which 
is historical and 
full of the charac- 
ter of the charity- 
loving people of 
Spain. Alonzo 
Cano, a great 

Spanish painter, passed his time in his old age in acts of charity. Sometimes, 
when he had given away all his money, he would enter a shop, sit down, and 
make sketches, which he would give to the beggars, who sold them to the neigh- 
bouring convents. 

Mr. Burgess is very constant to the Academy of which he is so distinguished 
an Associate, and seldom or never exhibits elsewhere. 




OUAKDINO TUB HOSTAGES. 




(From a Photograph by the London Stereoscopic Company.) 



HENRY HUGH ARMSTEAD, R.A. 

T was well said upon a memorable occasion, by the late Prince Consort, 
whose opinion on matters of taste will ever be regarded with respectful 
consideration, that " all works of poetry and art are most tender plants, 
which will thrive only in an atmosphere of kindness kindness towards 
the artist personally, as well as towards his production." Now, without 
staying to consider the reasons why sculpture can scarcely be said to have 
met with that encouragement in this country so freely accorded to the sister 
art of painting whether from the fact that, lacking the attraction of colour, 
it appeals to the more cultivated tastes as the means of expressing form in the 
abstract only, or whether there has been any want of that necessary warmth of 




HENRY HUGH ARMSTEAD, R.A. C5 

appreciation suggested in the words of the Prince Consort the fact remains 
that our progress in the highest of the imitative arts has hardly heen com- 
mensurate with the requirements of either its professors or its admirers. And 
yet there have been those who, like Chantrey, Flaxman, and Foley, may fitly rank 
with the greatest artists of the British school, whilst of living masters Mr. Henry 
Hugh Armstead is entitled to most prominent consideration as both metal-worker 
and sculptor, and as one to whom this country, and, indeed, the age itself, is 
indebted for some of the noblest works in silver and bronze. Born in London in 
1828, Mr. Armstead may be said to have been cradled in art, having from his earliest 
years experienced the advantage of the careful and judicious training of his father, 
Mr. John Armstead, the most eminent Herald chaser of his day, to whose wise 
instruction, indeed, his son ascribes so much of his subsequent success. Studying 
first in the School of Design at Somerset House, where he obtained prizes for both 
modelling and drawing, Mr. Armstead completed this, the more elementary portion 
of his art-education, at the well-known schools of J. M. Leigh, in Maddox Street, 
and F. S. Carey, in Charlotte Street, Bloomsbury, where so many of our more note- 
worthy painters and sculptors imbibed a knowledge of the principles of art. Under 
the careful supervision of the latter most excellent instructor, Mr. Armstead made rapid 
progress, producing the drawings which secured his admission as a probationer in 
the Antique School of the Royal Academy ; this success being shortly followed 
by works of excellence in an alto-rilievo of " Boadicea," and a statuette of " Satan 
Dismayed," which were both executed in bronze by the Art Union of London. 

And now for a period of from fourteen to sixteen years the young sculptor 
devoted himself almost entirely to the production of works in metal, of which chaste 
and beautiful examples in silver were the " St. George's Vase," exhibited at the 
Koyal Academy, the " Tennyson Vase," and the " Packington " and " Outrain " 
shields, the latter of which, now at the South Kensington Museum, describes the 
principal events of Sir James Outram's career, and was designed, modelled, and all 
the most important parts chased by Mr. Armstead's own hand. With this terminated 
the artist's labours as a worker in metal ; and having occupied his time for a brief 
space in making some designs upon wood as illustrations for a poem by Dora Greenwood 
in Good Words, and for one of Tennyson's, as well as some blocks for Dalziels' 
Bible, he was for the future to be known only in his capacity as a sculptor. What 
he has accomplished has proved him worthy to rank among the foremost modellers 
of his time, nor will succeeding generations fail to do him honour. Space would 
not suffice for enumeration here of anything like a complete list of Mr. Armstead's 
works, but at the same time it would appear unjust, when referring to the labours 
of his artistic career, to leave unnoticed, at least by name, such examples of a 
nobly inventive genius as his statue of " Aristotle," executed in Caen stone, and 
one of the series at the Oxford Museum ; his wood-carvings illustrating the lives of 
King Arthur and Sir Galahad in the Queen's Robing Room of the Westminster 
Palace ; the carved cornice of the reredos in Westminster Abbey, with marble figures 
38 



06 THE MODERN SCHOOL OF ART. 

of " Moses," " St. Peter," " St. Paul," and " King David " in the niches beneath ; 
the Eatington designs, being twenty large reliefs carved in stone above the ground- 
floor windows, for Eatington Park, Warwickshire, giving the history of the Shirley 
family from the Saxon founder up to the time of Cromwell ; the external mosaic 
forming part of the frieze of the Albert Hall, illustrating Applied Mechanics, and 
representing the Lever, the Wedge, and the Screw, with figures of Archimedes and 
Watt ; four bronze figures at the west end of the Inner Temple Hall ; the effigy of 
the late Bishop Wilberforce in Winchester Cathedral ; the memorial of the late 
Frederick Walker, A.E.A., in Cookham Church ; and the external sculptures of the 
Colonial Office, of which it must suffice to mention the eight figures of colonial 
secretaries the Earl of Derby, Earl Grey, Sir W. Molesworth, Lord Lytton, tho 
Duke of Newcastle, Lord Bipon, Lord Glenelg, and Lord Bathurst. 

Of works more particularly illustrative of the manner and style of Mr. Armstead's 
art, there are three to which a few words of description should certainly be devoted. 
The first is the fountain for King's College, Cambridge (which we engrave), showing 
the pious founder, Henry VI., supported by figures of " Eeligion " and "Philosophy," 
the king having in his charter expressly founded the college with the view to their 
encouragement. In this very beautiful and noble work, which is twenty-seven feet 
high, Mr. Armstead, who is here his own architect, has placed upon the summit the 
figure of the king, who is presenting the charter, and beneath, on either side, a female 
figure in sitting posture, the one representing " Eeligion," the other " Philosophy." 
At the sides are two panels, each containing two infant Neptunes guiding dolphins, 
from which jets of water flow into handsome bronze tazze ornamented with lions' 
heads and lotos flowers, whence three jets issue into a lower basin decorated with 
ten small dolphins and shells. The fountain is in Portland stone, with figures and 
ornamental work in bronze, most elaborately finished. 

Anything like critical analysis or description of what is perhaps Mr. Armstead's 
grandest work, the decoration of the podium of the Albert Memorial, is so far beyond 
the limits of this brief notice that we must confine ourselves to the mere outline of 
the design and motive of the work, remembering that many of those who are anxious 
to study the original happily have it within easy reach. The work consists of eighty 
life-size figures upon the south and east surfaces of the Memorial, illustrating Poetry, 
Music, and Painting the general arrangement being geographical, not chronological, 
the greatest men, like Homer and Eaphael, being grouped in the centre, with those 
of lesser note gathered around. This able work occupied Mr. Armstead eight years, 
and represents a remarkable amount of earnest thought and labour. The portraits 
of the various poets, painters, and musicians are executed from the most authentic 
likenesses, obtained from tracings, engravings, and drawings in this country and 
abroad this undertaking was itself a work of no little labour and every head was 
carved by the sculptor in situ, whilst each separate figure is the result of careful and 
conscientious study. 

As regards Mr. Armstead's labours in strictly monumental work, no better 




I 
i 

I 

~ 



o 
u 



a 

a 



68 



THE MODERN SCHOOL OF ART. 



example exists than the nobly-conceived memorial effigy of the late Archdeacon 
Moore, in last year's Eoyal Academy Exhibition, and now placed in Lichfield 
Cathedral. The Archdeacon is a venerable, dignified-looking man, in canonical 
vestments, lying with closed eyelids and serene expression of face ; at his feet the 
kneeling figure of an angel, with great wings, and hands folded together as in prayer, 
gives an unusually impressive character to the memorial. The countenance of the 
Archdeacon impresses the spectator with the terrible solemnity of death, whilst 
the careful moulding of the form, the simplicity of the drapery, and the beautiful 
chiselling of the hands are beyond praise. 

Of honorary rewards Mr. Armstead has not been without his share, having in 




PHOM THE BASE OF THE ALBERT MEMORIAL, KENSINGTON. 



1855 obtained the French bronze medal for silver-work groups and shields ; in 1862 
the medal of the Great International Exhibition for the Outram Shield and other 
silver-work ; and in 1867 the silver medal at the Paris Exhibition of that year ; 
whilst the more substantial honour of being elected an Associate of our Koyal 
Academy was attained in 1875, and the full membership in 1879. 

Such, in very few words, is the record of a great and useful life, one to which we 
all look as eminent in the past, and the artist being happily in the fulness of his 
powers as certain to be yet more brilliant in the future. Whatever the vicissitudes 
and disappointments of that life and what successful artist has been without them ? 
the measure of success has been attained, and the proud position of an eminent 
sculptor has been fully earned by Mr. Henry Hugh Armstead. 

The future of sculpture in London a very doubtful future as yet rests rather 
in the hands of a monumental and architectural sculptor like Mr. Armstead than 
in those of even so great a master of the personal and realistic statue as Mr. Hamo 
Thornycroft. At the present time the town is not at all in a pleasant temper with 



HENRY HUGH ARMSTEAD, R.A. 69 

its sculptors. Long-suffering and indifferent as the English public usually seems 
towards its urban monuments, there are instances in which it unexpectedly starts 
up and gives a savage thrust, like the cat that has been teased for a long time without 
giving any sign of resentment. When Wyatt's " Duke of Wellington " was placed 
on the arch at Hyde Park Corner, in 1846, there occurred one of those popular 
ebullitions, and another occurred in the case of the famous monument at Temple 
Bar. Nor was it always very easy, even when we persistently dismissed Hyde 
Park Corner and Temple Bar, to defend the adornments of our streets. 

We are a vestry-loving people, and we have introduced into our patronage of 
the fine arts a very singular parochial custom called "competition." It would be 
difficult to invent a more ingenious system for wasting public money as well as 
private patience, or for securing the least possible good at the greatest possible 
expense, than this favourite mode of procuring a public statue. The manner of 
working the system is as follows: Some excellent philanthropist or popular warrior 
dies, and a feeling gradually becomes current in favour of doing something in honour 
of his memory. This something gradually takes the shape of a statue in the minds 
of one or two active people with a tendency towards combined action. These people 
form a committee, add to themselves certain influential names in science, or in 
finance, or anything except fine art, and they gracefully elect their most active 
member as secretary. The little vestry is now constituted on the approved English 
plan, issues invitations for money, and receives subscriptions with dignity and zeal. 
The secretary now becomes a person of much importance. He issues a peremptory 
little notice inviting sculptors to compete for a monument, to be in marble or bronze, 
sitting or standing, six or twelve feet high, just according to his own taste or that 
of the committee. It seems plain that if a committee of artists and other ordinary 
people were to invite a man of science to lay down for them an improved system 
of drainage under a certain building, they would not dictate to him the form of his 
pipes and the exact position of his traps, but this does not hold true in the reverse 
instance. The secretary, rejoicing in his strength, sends out his notices, and receives 
a great number of replies. It is very rarely indeed that he takes the trouble to 
inquire whether they are signed by distinguished names, or whether the really 
eminent artists are deaf to his appeal. He merely mentions to those who do reply 
that they must send in a finished study, in the round, by a certain date. For this 
a rich committee sometimes offers a small sum to each exhibitor, but, as a rule, 
the artists are invited to spend ah 1 this time and labour for nothing. 

The obvious result of ah 1 this is that a sculptor who has got anything else to 
do, or who is not quite sure beforehand of the result of the competition, hesitates 
to expend his labour, and he is very right in doing so. The competition, then, if it 
is a genuine thing and not a mere blind for the deluding of the public, starts under 
the disadvantage that it is only entered by young or unprosperous men, and that the 
very artists whose work should be most eagerly secured for the public are not 
approached in the matter. Sometimes, and this is slightly more rational, the first 



70 THE MODERN SCHOOL OF ART. 

competition is left open, and a rough selection is made of the three or four hest 
sketches, to the authors of each of which a retaining fee, as we may call it, is given. 
This is not so exacting to the sculptor, hut it is a great injustice to the public, 
for by this means ,150 or 200 of the money subscribed is expended before even a 
final decision is made. That final decision rests with the untrained, unprofessional 
committee. 

Is it necessary to wait until the times are ripe for a Minister of Fine Art ? Is 
it not possible for the good taste of the influential middle classes to sweep away 
this disastrous parochial system, invented and supported solely to indulge the self- 
importance of one or two worthy but unnecessary persons ? If we take a grave 
interest in the question of the adornment of our streets with fine sculpture, we must 
be prepared, first of all, to reform the present mode of selection by competition. It 
is really only on a confession of ignorance that this system exists. The committees 
tacitly admit that they do not know to whom to entrust their money. It is a 
little surprising that with such names as those of Messrs. Armstead, Woolner, 
Boehm, Thornycroft, and Brock constantly before them, they cannot form some 
notion of the style and qualifications of a large number of competent artists. But 
even if we admit that they cannot be expected to know these names, there are a 
great many persons whose range of official duties includes the knowledge of such 
facts. What is really to be desired, from a purely practical point of view and in 
the interests of taste, is that those who oblige the public by forming themselves 
into committees for the receipt of subscriptions towards popular monuments should 
go with their final estimate of funds to the studio of some thoroughly accredited 
sculptor, and ask him to tell them what work he is able to produce for the sum in 
hand. If his plans seem to them too expensive, they can go to one of his colleagues ; 
but, as a matter of fact, it is extremely unlikely that an artist approached in this 
manner would fail to respond as warmly as his opportunities might permit. The 
great point is that, the money once secured and the sculptor selected, the latter 
should not be disturbed in the execution of his design by any secretary or middle- 
man whose responsibility should go further than that of a financial adviser to the 
committee. 

It may be objected that by this reform we propose to take the bread out of the 
mouths of clever, rising men who might otherwise chance to profit by the present 
haphazard system of competition. We are prepared to accept this painful charge, 
as far as purely public monuments are concerned. A statue in a prominent part of 
London is an object which it almost requires an Act of Parliament to get rid of, 
and we are most strongly of opinion that for the task of placing beautiful and 
appropriate groups in the streets of London, none but learned and accredited sculptors 
should be chosen. Mr. Armstead, happily for us fairly well represented in our 
public places, stands at the head of these. 




(From o Photograph In/ itr. Robert Faulkner.) 



HENRY WILLIAM BANKS DAVIS, R.A. 

F the list of British animal-painters of high eminence is small, we have, 
nevertheless, more than one example of how much can be accomplished 
by genius in a branch of art the resources of which are apparently limited. 
The notable power Landseer possessed of parodying human nature without 
entirely robbing the brute creation of its characteristics, shown in pictures 
like his "Alexander and Diogenes," and "Uncle Tom and his Wife for Sale," 
was the expression of an idea in language understood by all, for we find the sense of 
humour almost universal, and this painter's works are conseqiiently popular through- 
out civilised Europe. And what in a vein peculiar to himself Landseer succeeded 
in accomplishing so inimitably, other painters who have adopted as their r61e in art 
the portrayal of the lower animals in their various moods, sympathies, and sentiments, 




72 THE MODERN SCHOOL OF ART. 

have in a different manner accomplished with no less certainty and skill. To go no 
farther back in the history of British art, Abraham Cooper, Ward, and we give but 
one example among living artists, although perhaps here we can scarcely claim the 
artist as an animal-painter alone the infinitely talented designer of the horses in 
the pictures of " Balaklava " and "The Remnants of an Army," have in their best 
works shown that perfect appreciation of the habits and sympathies of the creatures 
they depict, coupled of course with anatomical knowledge and the necessary 
executive skill, sufficient to prove they were completely masters of their art. The 
requirements of landscape -painting are somewhat different, but with these also 
Mr. H. W. B. Davis, of whom we are about to speak, and who has now for some 
time appeared before the public as both animal and landscape painter, has, as we 
may be able to show, very fully complied. Son of a barrister, and born in August, 
1833, Mr. Davis appears not so much to have inherited as to have originated the 
artistic faculty in his family. When he was little more than a child his great 
delight and recreation consisted of attempts at sketching, crude enough, as may be 
well imagined, but still showing the bent of the boy's mind ; and it is a thing to 
be noted as rare in the experience of painters, that the artist of whom we are 
treating attributes his devotion to Nature and his fondness for art to the early 
teaching and example of his father. Whilst still the art-instinct in the boy 
appeared scarcely to admit of explanation, such a fostering care was bestowed upon 
his training as influenced his future career in a manner never to be obliterated. 
Mr. Davis's father, a gentleman of highly-cultivated mind, chanced to be a devoted 
follower of Izaak Walton, and in his frequent excursions with his son in pursuit of 
piscatorial recreation he never failed to instil into the lad's mind lessons to be 
learnt from the contemplation of Nature, the beauties of which he pointed out and 
dwelt upon with loving appreciation. The boy's early artistic leaning appeared to 
be towards sculpture, and that feeling was strengthened by the enthusiastic 
admiration aroused in his mind at being allowed to witness the modelling of a fine 
bust of Barry Cornwall. This predilection was increased by the youth's intro- 
duction to Foley, the sculptor, who encouraged him in his purpose, so that 
entering the Royal Academy schools as a student in 1852, he did so as a sculptor, 
and with the intention of following out that branch of art. And here it is 
interesting to mark the valuable influence this early training as a sculptor had upon 
the career of the future painter, in whose later works a very noticeable quality is 
the masterly modelling of the domestic animals he represents. During a season or 
two spent in the Academy schools, Mr. Davis was awarded two medals one for a 
model from the life and the other for perspective and about the same period he 
also exhibited a medallion and a bust of Flora. Leaving the Academy, and still 
perhaps as yet without any set and steadfast purpose in art, Mr. Davis fancied he 
would like to try his hand at painting, and in 1855 he sent two landscapes to the 
Eoyal Academy "A Forest Lake" and "A Marly Lane" and subsequently, after 
having entered himself at Oxford University, where he kept a few terms, he took a 



HENRY WILLIAM BANKS DAVIS. R.A. 73 

house a few miles from Boulogne, where he has since occasionally resided, finding 
in the scenery around the motive for much of the landscape portion of his pictures. 
Mr. Davis's next few works sufficiently proved that their author was engaged with 
serious intention of conquering the difficulties of his art, until, about the year 1860, 
he exhibited at the Portland Gallery a landscape picture of a scene near Boulogne, 
a number of sheep introduced into which elicited such marked expressions of public 
approval as in a measure to have originated the artist's habit of painting animals, 
la succeeding years there appeared at the Academy exhibitions a number of works 
from the artist's brush, all carefully wrought out, and, almost without exception, 
each one an improvement upon the last "Midsummer," a view near Boulogne; 
"On the French Coast;" "The Strayed Herd;" "Spring Ploughing;" "A Squall 
from the Sea, Picardy;" "Dewy Eve;" "Moonrise;" and hi 1872 two vciy 
remarkable productions which led to his election as an Associate in the following 
year. " A Panic " was a large picture, in which a herd of cattle, painted life-size, 
were represented in one of those momentary alarms with which they are sometimes 
unaccountably seized, rushing headlong towards the spectator. This work, which 
was the talk of the season, splendidly drawn, solidly executed, and rich in every 
quality of the animal painter's art, at once placed Mr. Davis at the head of his 
profession in the branch he had adopted. "A Trotting Bull," in bronze, and 
modelled as a study for his picture, exhibited in the same collection, also proved 
conclusively that Mr. Davis had not forgotten his early training as a sculptor. 
This last-mentioned work was in the following year sent to the Vienna International 
Exhibition, where it secured a medal for its author, and was received with not less 
favour than it obtained here. The substantial reward consequent upon the pro- 
duction of these remarkable works the artist's election as an Associate, in 
February, 1873 appeared to act as a spur for the further development of his 
genius, so that we had from his brush a succession of beautiful pictures like 
"A Summer Afternoon," "The End of the Day," "A Spring Morning," and 
" After Sundown," more than one of which made it almost difficult to determine 
whether the artist was greater as a landscape or animal painter ; for whilst the 
sheep and cattle with which he enlivened his scenery all but breathed and 
moved, in more than one of his landscapes meadows and hedgerow alike appeared 
fragrant as if with the breath of spring, and every tuft of grass, shrub, or tree 
showed the thoughtful touch of the earnest and loving student of Nature. 

In June, 1877, Mr. Davis attained full honours in the Academy, and in the 
following year he was one of the strongest exhibitors, with four most learned 
works, the motive in three of which was the production of the effects of different 
periods of the day. Of these we can but stay to refer to "Evening Light" a 
splendidly-drawn dark bull with white cow and calf; mid-distance of green fields, 
and, far away, the sea-shore, lighted up by gleams of the setting sun and " Mid-day 
Shelter," wherein cows and calves on a river's bank were sheltering from the 
fierce heat of the sun under the pleasant shadow of some trees, or standing in the 
30 




CONTENTMENT. 



HENRY WILLIAM BANKS DAVIS, R.A. 75 

stream quietly enjoying their refreshing bath. Brown, black, and dappled cowa, with 
a lovely landscape every tree painted with faultless precision, whilst the great 
shadows from the branches were lightened here and there at intervals by bright 
gleams of the sun shining pleasantly through constituted altogether a lovely 
pastoral, perfectly realising the painter's motive in his work. In 1879 Mr. Davis 
was unusually prolific, exhibiting no less than five pictures, of which one, " Cutting 
Forage on the French Coast," showed him rather in his character as a landscape- 
painter, for those who saw the work will not readily forget the great field with its 




THK APPROACH OP NIOHT. 



many-tinted grasses, the tall tops of which were gently fanned by the summer 
breeze, and the lovely garniture of wild flowers, of infinite beauty and variety, whilst 
waggon-horses waited patiently for the load being busily prepared for them to 
carry away. The artist shows us in "Wanderers," through the cow and calf which 
have strayed away from their pasturage to the sandy hillocks and barren soil adjacent 
to the sea-shore, something of what sentiment there is in animal life, and in "A 
Midsummer Night " the peculiar effect often observable at midnight in summer-time. 
The artist's two contributions in 1880 "Family Affection," a group of cattle (bull, cow, 
and calf), their bodies lighted up by the rays of the afternoon sun, and " Eeturning 
to the Fold," a perfectly admirable study of sheep being collected together by 
the shepherd and his attendant dogs, a work so highly regarded by the Royal 
Academy that it was purchased by that body under the terms of the Chantrey 
Bequest are productions so much esteemed as to call for no comment at our hands. 



7(5 



THE MODERN SCHOOL OF ART. 



The pictures we engrave are admirably representative of Mr. Davis's artistic 
powers. "The Approach of Night" is a scene of tranquil beauty, in which the 
last trembling light of day is giving place to the period appointed for Nature's rest. 
It is in such a scene that the artist's passionate love of the beautiful in creation is 
most strongly shown. The remaining example of his skill which we reproduce 
"Contentment" no less markedly illustrates the ability he possesses as an animal- 
painter. 

In 1882 Mr. Davis exhibited " In Koss-shire," an elaborate landscape with cattle 
and sheep under a cloud-piled northern sky; and "Sea and Land Waves," cart- 
horses at work on a hilly sea-shore. A little later came "Lost Sheep," a strayed 
and startled little group together on a hillock in a lonely country. The artist has 
cleverly given that expression of fear which is the only emphatic expression of which 
a sheep is capable. In 1885 Mr. Davis was richly represented at the Academy 
by " Summer Twilight," and " On the Cliffs ; " and in 1886 by " A Flood on the Wye- 
Subsiding," and "Fording." The most judicious admirers of this painter's later work 
find more of his artistic quality in the treatment of cattle the masterly drawing of 
forms and handling of surfaces than in that of the landscape by which he surrounds 
his groups. His position as a cattle painter equals in the English school that 
held by Van Maarke at the head of his art on the Continent. 

But little remains to be added, unless it is to congratulate ourselves that the 
loss to British art sustained by the death of its famous animal-painter in 1873 is 
not altogether irreparable, and that our school of animal-painting is not likely to 
become extinct whilst painters like Mr. Davis, with matured taste, judgment, and 
learned executive skill, spring tip to supply the vacancies which arise in the ranks 
of our artists. 





SYDNEY CAUTON. 



FRED. BARNARD. 

|T is now many years since observers of men and names and work at the 
Koyal Academy were surprised by a picture of moderate size and grim 
aspect, signed " Fred. Barnard." The surprise was caused by the 
strong character and individuality of the separate heads in this murky 
"Saturday Night" of a wide, dreary, crowded London street, with its bar- 
rows, and buyers and sellers, and gas-jets blown in the night wind. The 
vivid and vital personality which the painter gave to the men and women he 
had studied seemed, iu fact, the announcement of a new personality in English 




78 THE MODERN SCHOOL OF ART. 

art, which needed it ; for though there is among us a fair quantity of eccen- 
tricity, we cannot boast a superabundance of initiative and distinctiveness. " Satur- 
day Night " led its admirers to look for more of the painter's handiwork, which 
they found, not superabundant in quantity, but always interesting in quality, here 
and there, in galleries and in books. The picture we have named is a work full 
of Dickens-like observation and energy ; and it is in effect to the works of Dickens 
that Mr. Barnard has devoted much of his peculiar illustrative power. In this choice 
he has very few competitors. The work of our great humourist is under a certain 
partial eclipse. People have begun to think his pathos a little sickly, and to feel a 
distaste even for the fun which deals with distasteful things and people. Nor does 
Dickens's truth strike us as it evidently struck our fathers ; for the truth of forty 
years ago is not the truth of to-day. Mrs. Gamp is an absolute stranger to us ; 
her dialect is an unknown tongue ; her uncertificated nursing is a thing of a 
barbarous past ; her drink, her cruelties, her attire, her umbrella, have long 
passed away. Our evil old women have indeed a way and a speech of their own, 
but they are not her ways or her speech. So with the Wellers in " Pickwick ; " so 
with the London-life groups in "Nicholas Nickleby;" and so, still more, with 
Dickens's Americans. The writer who would "chaff" the Americans now, politically 
or socially (but that form of requital of transatlantic hospitality is out of fashion), 
must do it on totally different lines from those of " Martin Chuzzlewit." Hardly 
one of the points in that book is a point now ; the manners the very manner of 
speech has passed out of remembrance. Thus Dickens is, just for the present, 
bygone without being old. Until we can read him as ancient history, and since 
we cannot read him for his actuality, we read him little. And few of our artists 
take their suggestions of humour from his comedy, or of pathos from his tragedy, 
or of action from his vigorous and energetic drama. Mr. Barnard, in choosing 
his author, has evidently the sympathy of affinity. He inclines, as Dickens did, if 
not precisely to caricature, certainly to extreme emphasis, and takes character and 
fun in a massive and manly manner, rather foreign to the present temper of the 
world. He has not only painted subjects from Dickens, he has illustrated his 
author's stories in black-and-white with a freshness, an impulse, and an enjoyment 
which prove how close is the touch of the two minds in many moods and tempers. 
Undoubtedly Mr. Barnard's most serious and impressive work is the " Sydney 
Carton," in which he lends the added realisation of his art to a singularly noble 
living passage of the novelist's work. " The Tale of Two Cities" has never been 
altogether so popular as many another of Dickens's novels, and it may be well to 
remind the reader of the situation as strong a situation as genius ever devised. 
Evremonde, though he renounced his order in indignant protest against the oppression 
of the people by the nobles of France, has been seized upon by the blind fury of the 
Revolution, and condemned to death. For Evremonde's wife's sake Sydney Carton, 
who has squandered youth and strength in idleness, resolves to turn to use an 
accidental likeness, and to die for him. He gains admission to his friend's prison, 



FRED. BARNARD. 



79 



stupefies him with a drug out of the power of resistance, changes clothes with him, 
has him carried out in the apparent swoon, and in his name accepts condemnation 
to the guillotine. Many an author has brought innocent and noble men or women to 
the scaffold, but not to the rope, not to the knife. The consummation has been 











CHARACTER SKETCH PROM DICKENS " UP. JIICAWBER." 

arrested, an accident has prevented the shock of judicial death for no crime in 
fiction, at least, whatever the more grim records of history may be. But Dickens, 
in this tremendous close to his tragedy, makes the sacrifice complete, and that 
with no mere form of words, but with a realisation of feeling that brings homo 
the very pang of voluntary death. First comes the scene where the condemned 
man meets a little chance companion on his way to death : 

" As lin stood by the wall in a dim corner, while some of the fifty-two were brought in after him, one man 
stopped in passing to embrace him, as having a knowledge of him. Jt thrilled him with a great dread of 



80 



THE MODERN SCHOOL OF ART. 



discovery; but the man went on. A very few moments after that a young woman, with a slight, girlish 
form, a sweet, spare face, in which there was no vestige of colour, and large, widely-opened, patient eyes, 
rose from the seat where he had observed her sitting, and came to speak to him. 

" ' Citizen Evr6monde,' she said, touching him with her cold hand, 'I am a poor little seamstress, 
who was with you in La Force.' 

" He murmured for answer : ' True. I forget what you were accused of.' 

" ' Plots ; though the just Heaven knows I am innocent of any. Is it likely t Who would think of 
plotting with a poor little weak creature like me]' 

" The forlorn smile with which she said it so touched him, that tears started from his eyes. 

" ' I am not afraid to die, Citizen 
Evremonde, but I have done nothing. I 
am not unwilling to die, if the Republic 
which is to do so much good to us poor 
will profit by my death ; but I do not 
know how that can be, Citizen Evremonde. 
Such a poor, weak little creature ! ' 

"As the last thing on earth that his 
heart was to warm and soften to, it warmed 
and softened to this pitiable girl. 

" ' I heard you were released, Citizen 
Evr6monde. I hoped it was true.' 

" ' It was. But I was again taken and 
condemned.' 

" ' If I may ride with you, Citizen 
Evre'monde, will you let me hold your 
hand? I am not afraid, but I am little 
and weak, and it will give me more courage.' 
"As the patient eyes were lifted to 
his face, he saw a sudden doubt in them, 
and then astonishment. He pressed the 
work-worn, hunger- worn young fingers, and 
touched his lips. 

'"Are you dying for him?' she whis- 
pered. 

" ' And his wife and child. Hush ! 
Yes.' 

" ' Oh, you will let me hold your brave 
hand, stranger?' 

" ' Hush ! Yes, my poor sister, to the 




THE VAGABOND : " THE DKAWINO-KOOM. 



last.' " 



And next is the record of the 
work of the guillotine, before which the tricoteuses sit at their counting : 

" The tumbrils begin to discharge their loads. The ministers of Sainte Guillotine are robed and ready 
Crash ! A head is held up, and the knitting-women, who scarcely lifted their eyes to look at it a moment 
ago when it could think and speak, count One. 

" The second tumbril empties and moves on ; the third comes up. Crash ! And the knitting-women, 
never faltering or pausing in their work, count Two. 

" The supposed Evremonde descends, and the seamstress is lifted out next after him. He has not 
relinquished her patient hand in getting out, but still holds it as he promised. He gently places her with 
her back to the crashing engine, that constantly whirrs up and falls, and she looks into his face and 
thanks him. 

" ' But for you, dear stranger, I should not be so composed, for I am naturally a poor little thing, faint 
of heart; nor should have been able to raise my thoughts to Him who was put to death that we might 
have hope and comfort here to-day. I think you were sent to me by Heaven.' 



FUEL). BARNARD. 



81 



" ' Or you to me,' says Sydney Carton. ' Keep your eyes upon me, dear child, and mind no other object.' 

" ' I mind nothing while I hold your hand. I shall mind nothing when I let it go, if they are rapid. 

" ' They will be rapid. Fear not !' 

"The two stand in the faskthinning throng of victims, but they s|>eak as if they were alone. Eye 
to eye, voice to voice, hand to hand, heart to heart, these two children of the Universal Mother, else so 
wide apart and differing, have come together on the dark highway, to repair home together, and to rest 
in her bosom. 

'"Brave and generous frienJ, will you let me ask you one last question? I am very ignorant, and 
it troubles me just a little.' 

"'Tell me what it is.' 

" ' I have a cousin, an only relative 
and an orphan, like myself, whom I love 
very dearly. She is five years younger 
than I, and she lives in a farmer's house 
in the South Country. Poverty parted us 
and she knows nothing of my fute, for I 
cannot write ; and if I could, how should 
I tell her? It is better as it is.' 

" ' Yes, yes ; better as it is.' 

" ' What I have been thinking as we 
came along, and what I am still thinking 
now, as I look into your kind, strong face, 
which gives me so much support, is this : 
If the Republic really does good to the 
poor, and they come to be less hungry, 
and in all ways to suffer less, she may live 
a long time. She may even live to be old.' 

" ' What then, my gentle sister 1' 

" ' Do you think ' the uncomplaining 
eyes, in which there is so much endurance, 
fill with tears, and the lips part a little 
more and tremble ' that it will seem long 
to me while I wait for her in the better 
land, where I trust both you and I will be 
mercifully sheltered 1' 

" ' It cannot be, my child. There is 
no time there, and no trouble there.' 

" ' You comfort me so much. I am so 
ignorant. Am I to kiss you now 1 Is the 
moment cornel' 

" ' Yes.' 

" She kisses his lips, he kisses hers ; 

they solemnly bless each other. The spare hand does not tremble as he releases it ; nothing worse than a 
sweet, bright constancy is in the patient face. She goes next before him is gone ! The knitting-women 
count Twenty-two. 

" ' I am the Resurrection and the Life, saith the Lord ; he that believeth in Me, though he were 
dead, yet shall he live ; and whosoever liveth and believeth in Me shall never die.' 

"The murmuring of many voices, the upturning of many faces, the pressing on of many footsteps in 
the outskirts of the crowd, so that it swells forward in a mass, like one great heave of water all flashes 
away. Twenty-three." 

Then turn from this solemn consummation to a " character sketch." Here is 
the inimitable Micawber, the pathetic, the rhetorical, the cheerful, the impecunious 
and incorrigible one of the immortals of Dickens's best and soundest work. Mr. 
Barnard has him in gait and action, and especially in expression, for the glance of 

40 




THE VAGABOND : THE 8TKEET. 
(from the Collection of the latt Capt. Hill, of Brighton) 



82 THE MODERN SCHOOL OF ART. 

his Micawber is admirable. And is there not also a Dickens-like breadth and vigour 
of meaning in " The Vagabond," as his joys and woes are sung by the portly 
amateur in the song so popular fifteen years ago, and "The Vagabond" as he 
crouches in the snow and desolation of the bitter truth ? Assuredly the rich had 
better ignore the poor in the manner of Dives than make picturesque matter for 
song and story out of them. The painter of " Saturday Night " has no tolerance 
for cheap little forms of the fool's paradise. 

That memorable picture, to return to Mr. Barnard's Academy appearances, was 
followed in the succeeding year (1879) by a " Scene from Barnaby Budge," and by a 
good bit of humour, "At the Pantomime." The painter shows us the interior of 
a box, over the edge of which two children are leaning in the intensity of their 
interest, while behind the discreet curtain the grandfather sleeps with an expression 
of boredom and weariness which is at least as intense of its kind. Next year came 
" The Chaperon," in which the painter attacks the grotesque fashions of about 
1830. Two ladies, made as broad as they are long by their sleeves and stiff skirts, 
with their hair arranged in curls and erect ornamental bows, are just entering on 
the business of the ball-room. The one is a debutante whose prettiness is proof 
against even the hairdresser of the period ; but the other is a portentous specimen 
of what chaperonage, with its anxieties, combined with birds of paradise, a turban, 
and bunches of fictitious ringlets, can make of the elderly female of man's naturally 
dignified race. 

In 1883 appeared the remarkable picture which may vie with the " Sydney 
Carton " as its painter's chef d'oeuvre. It was not Dickens this time, but an author 
yet broader and more emphatic than Dickens John Bunyan. This is how the 
"Pilgrim's Progress" has the names of "The Jury" which Mr. Barnard paints 
Mr. High-mind, Mr. Enmity, Mr. Liar, Mr. Cruelty, Mr. Hate-light, Mr. Implacable, 
Mr. Blindrnan, Mr. No-good, Mr. Malice, Mr. Love-lust, Mr. Live-loose, and Mr. 
Heady. With all the single sincerity, the attention to one characteristic, the simple 
vigour, and the stern humour suggested by the text, has the painter presented his 
two wonderful rows of types. Types of course they are rather than persons. If 
Mr. Barnard had been dealing with persons he could not have put one thing into 
each face with the completeness and force which are so peculiar to his genius. The 
deliberate obstinacy of Mr. Blindman, Mr. No-good's yawn, Mr. Live-loose's wan 
and fatuous look and physique helpless with dissipation, and Mr. Heady's upright 
hair and invincibility of expression, are all rendered beyond praise. Equally excellent is 
the specious and almost deprecatory look of Mr. Liar as he whispers to the hard smile 
of his neighbour, Mr. Cruelty. The picture made a considerable sensation at leasb 
in that public which takes pleasure in strong personal talent. And all the humour 
and the force in it were commended to the more technical critics by the painter's 
science and soreness. Mr. Barnard is an exceptionally good draughtsman. 




by 



GEORGE ADOLPHUS STOREY, A.R.A. 



ADOLPHUS STOREY the artist of "Viola," "My Lady Belle," 
" Little Buttercup," and a score of graceful and charming fantasies be- 
sides in a family of eight, was the only one with a taste for art. His 
parents, too, were altogether unconnected with it, directly or indirectly. 
If we add that he writes as well as paints, and produces quaint and pretty 
verses as well as quaint and pretty pictures, and that he only of his kiu 
has been favoured by this second muse, it will be obvious that his talent is, to 
say the least of it, original, and that the why and wherefore of his possession are 
not easily perceived. 

But to the many who enjoy his pleasant work, it is of very little consequence 
whence he derives his talent. Oddly enough, it flourished side by side with, a love 




84 



THE MODERN SCHOOL OF ART. 



for mathematics. Contrary to almost all precedent, Mr. Storey, when a youngster, 
was intensely fond of calculation. Nor is this all. Still further to invert and turn 
topsy-turvy the received ideas as to a painter's quality and progress, he was, in 
1852-53, a fairly successful exhibitor at the Eoyal Academy two years, that is to 
say, before he entered, in 1854, as a student there. He was at this time twenty 

years old, having been born 
in London in 1834. He had 
begun as a schoolboy ; for 
he won a tiny silver palette 
as a prize for painting in 
oils, and at nine years old 
he showed his turn for art 
by trying his hand at model- 
ling the heads and limbs of 
horses, in the studio of M. 
Belines, the sculptor. All 
the while, as his love for 
mathematics had in nowise 
declined, and as he gave 
both time and attention to 
their study, it was deemed 
expedient that he should 
have a couple of years in 
Paris, under M. Maraud, 
mathematical professor at 
the Athenee-Royale. There 
he remained from 1848 to 
1850, passing much more 
than his leisure in copying 
pictures in the Louvre, under 
the guidance of a well-known 
teacher, M. Jean Dulong. 
Here was laid the ground- 
yjo^ work for that delicate and 

sensitive technique by which 

his work is distinguished. On his return to England he went into an architect's office, 
and wasted many precious hours over elevations and plans. Disgusted, as it would 
seem, by this vain attempt to practically unite his several loves, he finally entered Mr. 
Leigh's School of Art in Newman Street. Messrs. Calderon, Marks, and others, of 
what is called the " St. John's Wood School," were his fellow- students ; and in their 
company he has worked and flourished ever since. At first, his interests were somewhat 
too many and too varied. He produced much, and achieved but little. The mere 




GEORGE ADOLPHUS 8TOKKY, A.R.A. 



85 



titles of his pictures show how long it took him to settle down to any special class 
of subject. Thus his first exhibit in the Royal Academy (1852) was "A Family 
Portrait; " it was followed in 1853-54 by a " Madonna and Child," a " Holy Family," 




LILIES, OLEANDERS, AND THE flK 
(By Permission of A. S. Dunn, 17.) 



" Sacred Music," " The Widowed Bride," " The Bride's Burial," " The Annunciation." 
In 1864 he exhibited an historical picture, which brought him a good deal of renown 
" The Meeting of William Seymour with Lady Arabella Stuart at the Court of 
James I., 1009 ; " and next year another of the same class, called " The Royal 



8G THE MODERN SCHOOL OF ART. 

Challenge " of our Eighth Harry playing at singlestick with a peasant. After this, 
however, his themes grew less ambitious ; and at Mr. Gambart's Gallery, in 1806, 
he gave us, in " Children at Breakfast," the first of those domestic subjects which 
are at the same time portrait pictures in which he has been so long and so 
brilliantly successful. It was followed in 18G7 by "After You," a quaint and 
exquisitely-painted bit of character. The backgrounds in both were painted at 
Hever Castle, then all royal as its traditions and its past had been the summer 
house of a kind of co-operative society of artists. Very delicate and subtle characteri- 
sation, too, marked Mr. Storey's exhibits in 1868 : the " Shy Pupil " and " Saying 
Grace ; " whilst in 1869 the year in which the new galleries at Burlington House 
were opened he came forward as the author of three more pictures, which still 
further increased his reputation. This was now established beyond dispute, and the 
positions he won in the public esteem by his "Sister," "Going to School," and 
" The Old Soldier," fully justified the excellent places they obtained on the walls. 

The years which have swept by since then must be full of- satisfaction to our 
painter as he glances back upon them. They have brought him, deservedly, within 
the sacred circle of Koyal Academy Associateship (for ho was elected A.E.A. in 
April, 1876) ; they have enabled him to fulfil ah 1 those promises which he began to 
make when, in 1866, he struck out a line for himself; and they have given him 
time to develop that leaning towards the Dutch school of the seventeenth century 
always more or less manifest in his work upon which he has grafted much 
delicacy and beauty, at the same time investing it with all that indulgent sympathy 
with human nature which every one who knows the man himself is aware that he 
possesses in a very large degree. A kindly consideration and tenderness for our 
little foibles and weaknesses always peeps out from the fun which he delights in 
extracting from them ; and as this is entirely free from everything that is bitter or 
sardonic, so is it absolutely devoid of the very faintest tincture of vulgarity. Mr. 
Storey's satire is so good-natured, and the manner in which it is applied so happy, 
that offence is impossible. It is obvious that he may have profited in this, as in 
many artistic respects, by the teaching and advice of the late C. R. Leslie, E.A., 
whose friendship he acquired at the outset of his professional career. Much of his 
appreciative interpretation of character is Lesliean, whilst his technique is based 
upon foreign teaching. These remarks are more or less applicable to all his work, 
from "Children at Breakfast" and "The Shy Pupil" down to his last exhibited 
picture. He is seen at his best in "The Duet" and "Only a Rabbit" (in the Eoyal 
Academy, 1870), " Eosy Cheeks" and "Lessons" (1871), "A Lover's Quarrel" and 
"Little Buttercup" (1872), "Scandal," "Love in a Maze," and " Mistress Dorothy " 
(1873). These last-mentioned three works attracted particular attention, the third 
of them leading to those marked successes in life-sized female portraiture which 
have become so conspicuous a feature of the painter's present reputation, and of 
which we present our readers with two excellent examples in the " Viola " and the 
" Lilies, Oleanders, and the Pink." " Love in a Maze " is a very gay little bit of 



GEORGE ADOLPHUS STOREY, A.R.A. 



87 



comedy. The lover has followed the windings of one of those lahyrinths or " mazes," 
to be found in a few old-world gardens. The beloved sits in the midst in the heart 
of the mystery, as it were and he has come within one hedge of her, but, alas! 
only to discover that he is virtually at a greater distance than ever. He must 
begin again, and thread the intricacies of the cunning paths without a clue to 
the secret. 

A propos of Mr. Storey's 
skill as a portrait-painter he tells 
an amusing story of one of his 
early experiences in this capacity 
during a visit to Madrid, which 
he made in the year 1863. He 
was commissioned to paint the 
portrait of one Don Juan Moreno 
Benitez, Governor of Madrid. 
Some noble friends of his Ex- 
cellency became so interested in 
the progress of the picture, that 
they, in order to watch it, used 
to inundate the artist's studio 
with their company, and, being 
idle themselves, were the cause 
of idleness in him. Hence ho 
found it impossible to complete 
the work within the appointed 
period for sending it in to the 
forthcoming exhibition, where the 
Dons were most anxious it should 
appear. They exerted their in- 
fluence, and obtained for the 
painter an extension of time, 
and by this means he was just 

able to complete his task a day or two before the exhibition opened. The portrait, 
however, was so badly hung that its aspect was a grievous disappointment to all 
concerned. The powers which had procured the first privilege were now evoked 
again, and an appeal was made to the Minister of the Interior, who, looking upon 
the matter as one of grave importance, wrote to the President of the exhibition, 
and the picture was eventually taken from its bad position and placed in a post of 
honour. " Imagine," says Mr. Storey, " an outsider and a foreigner under similar 
circumstances bringing similar pressure to bear on Sir Frederick Leighton, and with 
a like result ! " 

But to return to 1873. "Scandal" showed our painter's love of sly humour 




STUDY POR " MY LADY 1:11. IK. 



88 THE MODERN SCHOOL OF ART. 

and domestic old-world quaintness, whilst " Love in a Maze " exhibited an additional 
trait, in the skill with which the landscape background was treated. Again, in 1874, 
" The Blue Girls of Canterbury " was a striking example of his combination of 
subject and portrait pictures. "Little Swansdown " and " Dame Octavia Beaumont," 
also portraits, in another style, added largely to his fame ; and " Grandmamma's 
Christmas Visitors," the fourth of his combinations in that year, lent afterwards, as 
an engraving, immense attraction to the Christmas number of the Graphic. Two 
life-sized portraits, and " Caught," and " The Whip Hand," together with, in 1876, 
"The Dancing Lesson" and "My Lady Belle" a study for which we reproduce 
carry us on to another highly excellent production, in 1877, namely, " The Old 
Pump Room, Bath," in which the extent of our artist's versatile powers is seen at 
its very best, as a reference to our full-page reproduction will show. " Sweet 
Margery," " Portrait of a Lady a la Rubens," and two other portraits, belong to 1878; 
two more portraits, " Orphans " and " Lilies, Oleanders, and the Pink," to 1879 ; 
"Following the Drum" and "Daphne" to 1880; and "The Connoisseur" and 
" Sunflower " to 1881. In the following year Mr. Storey exhibited " Pensive Daughter,'' 
illustrating that passage in Romeo and Juliet, which has made controversy about 
Shakespeare's religion. Could a Protestant understand a friar's position, and know 
so thoroughly the theology of Roman Catholic marriage, as Shakespeare does in 
this play? And, on the other hand, could a Roman Catholic talk about "evening 
mass? " With this was " Out for a Walk," a pretty girl equipped for a constitutional 
on a winter day ; also " Coracles on the Dee, Llantysilio," a quiet corner for fishing. 
One of the painter's pleasantest pictures of children is " As Good as Gold," the 
portrait of a charming little girl sitting on a table with her hands before her. She 
wears a huge mob-cap and a little ficliu crossed over her shoulders. Less delightful, 
though a far more elaborate composition, is the Greek subject of the same year 
" The Choice of the Beautiful Five Maidens of Crotona Sitting to Zeuxis for his 
Picture of Helen." The incident is well known. The painter's masterpiece as a 
delineation of female beauty was supposed to be this ideal Helen, dedicated in the 
temple of Here at Crotona. It was painted from five beauties, the most perfect to 
be found in that city, from whose combined " points " the artist was to extract a 
kind of quintessence of consummate loveliness. We all know another version of 
the same story, according to which the picture produced by this process represented 
a creature so inharmonious, so lacking in the individuality and unity of nature, that 
she was dubbed by universal judgment " the devil's bride." But taking Mr. Storey's 
view of the tradition, the point of his picture would of course depend entirely on 
the emphatic and striking beauty of the five models. Curiously enough, however, 
this noted painter of prettiness has not altogether succeeded in charming the spectator. 
His beauties are every one of a full and rounded style, which would have been 
more pleasing a generation ago, when " plumpness " was admired, than it is now. 
They are five sleek little well-fed schoolgirls, in whose features a painter would 
assuredly look in vain for " the face that launched a thousand ships." One of the 




a 

- 



g 
c 



c 
o 



90 THE MODERN SCHOOL OF ART. 

group is evidently sitting to Zeuxis for her rounded arm, while the others, who are 
to contribute eyes or hair or ankles, lounge around her, chatting or admiring their 
own special perfections in a mirror. The painting is going on out-of-doors, on a 
sunny terrace, across which a peacock trails his own unique beauty. To the Academy 
of 1886 Mr. Storey contributed "On Guard" and "A Violin Player." How much 
besides he has produced in every sort of medium water-colour, etching, black-and- 
white we cannot pretend to say. 

More than once reference has been made to Mr. Storey's powers as a poet ; and 
the pretty double meaning which is sometimes conveyed in the names by which he 
christens his pictures, together with the quaint and charming lines which he frequently 
attaches to them in the catalogue, give us a clue to what we may expect to find in 
"Homely Ballads and Old-fashioned Poems," the title of his little book of verse. It 
is full not only of pretty dainty conceits, but of that kind, genial sympathy with 
human nature which is a marked characteristic of the man, and which appears, if 
not as powerfully at least as pleasantly, beneath his pen as beneath his brush, 
notwithstanding the modest estimate he gives of himself in his preface. 





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BASIL VERESTCHAGIN. 

ASIL VERESTCHAGIN is a strange and imposing figure in European 
art. Much in all possible languages has already been written about 
him. An original painter, a valiant soldier, a daring traveller, and gene- 
rally an accomplished man, he is in all respects unique. Most of the 
Russian painters rise from the poorest class of society. They enter the 
Academy of Arts in St. Petersburg or the School of Painting and Sculp- 
ture in Moscow ; they work there and they disappear ; or they win a travelling 
scholarship and go abroad at the Government's expense or their own. Abroad, 
they copy the foreign masters or create under foreign influence. Then they either 
return to Russia or they expatriate themselves for good. They are often commissioned 
liberally enough ; they are often decorated ; sometimes they obtain renown and 
make a good deal of money. Then they stop working and become commonplace and 
"bourgeois." Thus it has been with them since the creation of the Academy of 
Arts in the second half of the Eighteenth Century. 



92 THE MODERN SCHOOL OF ART. 

Verestchagin is quite another type of man. The only painter with whom he 
has anything in common is Schwartz, his friend and fellow-pupil at the Academy. 
Both were the sons of rich proprietors, one at Novgorod, the other at Koursk ; 
both were sent hy their parents into special but not artistic schools ; one entered 
the navy and the other studied law ; both did brilliantly, and won first prizes, and 
were gold medallists ; both entered the Academy for a little, later on, and both 
worked in the studios of foreign painters, but quite independently and without 
copying anybody ; both began by learning to draw, and only afterwards proceeded 
to paint ; both have been ardent readers ; both have become great historians the 
one of modern life, the other of Russia in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries ; 
both have worked originally and spontaneously; both have exhibited but rarely, 
though they have produced much. The great difference between them is, that 
Schwartz died at thirty years old (he was born in 1818), lived obscurely (though he 
won many prizes both in Russia and abroad), and is now almost forgotten ; while 
Verestchagin is still alive (he was born in 1842), and is famous 'all over Europe 
and America. 

His talent is far greater than Schwartz's, his purpose has been far stronger and 
higher. His parents were bitterly opposed to his attempts upon art. They kept 
him penniless, so that he was often on bad terms with them, and had to earn his 
living by sketching for illustrated papers and by teaching drawing. He had begun 
to draw at five years old. At first he copied the " troika," the sledge printed on 
his nurse's handkerchief; then, all the pictures in the paternal house. He began 
to study systematically at college, and went on to work hard in the drawing schools 
of the Society for the Protection of Painting and the Academy of Arts. The first 
he attended while a cadet (1858-60), and the second after leaving the navy (1860-62). 
At this time his parents were quite indifferent to his practice of art. But when, 
having finished his education, he determined to get his discharge and study painting, 
they did their utmost to divert him from his purpose. Neither prayers nor threats, 
however, could avail. Verestchagin told his father that he had done his bidding 
once in studying for the navy ; that he had passed with honours, and that henceforth 
he meant to have his own way ; and that, as he hated the sea, he had determined to 
be an artist. His father was furious. He cut off the supplies, and Verestchagin was 
obliged to look for any work he could get. For some time he lived by colouring 
plans and making mechanical drawings. Then his father, seeing that he was able 
to earn his own living, somewhat abated his anger. Verestchagin, however, detested 
his work, and applied for help and counsel to Lvoff, director of the drawing school 
at the Academy of Arts. Lvoff introduced him to Prince Gagarin, vice-president of 
the Academy. He was admitted to the schools, with an allowance of 200 roubles 
(about 33) a year. The professor who influenced him most was Beideman, but newly 
returned from a prolonged tour in Europe. By his advice Verestchagin did much 
sketching from Nature, sur place and also from memory. Of great use to him was 
a journey to Paris and the Pyrenees, via Stettin and Berlin (1861), on money partly 



HANTL VERESTCHAGIN. 93 

earned by himself, and partly given by his father and uncle. His faith in the 
pseudo-classicism then reigning in the Academy was severely shaken ; and after 
winning the second-class silver medal with an " Odysseus Killing the Suitors " (1862), 
he put his cartoon behind the fire, and said good-bye to the pseudb-classic for ever. 
This act of defiance preceded the famous refusal of the classic subject (for the gold 
medal) by fourteen scholars of the Academy, and the creation (1863) by the rebels 
of an art club. Verestchagin's mother, however, was greatly impressed by his silver 
medal ; she even implored a benediction on her son's pursuit of art. But he forsook 
his work at the Academy and his task of making drawings for Zotow's " Illustrated 
History of Russia," and in 1863 set out for the Caucasus. 

When he got there he was almost penniless, but he soon began to make a great 
deal of money by teaching drawing. In his hours of leisure he sketched the men 
and things and animals about him, and read scientific books with Lagorio, the 
landscape-painter. Like all his contemporaries, he studied English and German 
literature, and this reading did him more good than all his former studies in the 
schools. In 1864 he journeyed down the Danube, and went on to Paris, there to 
edit an art journal and study the masters of his craft. His editing did not succeed, 
and Lemercier printed only a few copies of the paper. In his other purpose he 
succeeded brilliantly enough. He went straight to Gr6me. "Who sent you?" 
asked the famous painter. " Nobody," said Verestchagin ; " only I like your pictures." 
Gerorne praised his sketches much, and Verestchagin began to work in his studio, 
and in the I^cole des Beaux-Arts. He declined, however, to draw from the antique 
or to copy pictures in the Louvre, in spite of Gerome and in spite of Deveria, both 
of whom (the latter as early as 1861) advised him to do so. At last, having got 
some money from his father, he again went off to the Caucasus (1865), and sketched 
from Nature everything he saw on his journey. He returned to Paris at the end 
of the year, and his drawings astonished Gerome and Bida. They entreated him 
to essay himself in colour, but he still thought colour too difficult, and went on 
drawing. His new sketches pleased Bida so much that he used one of them as an 
etching, " The Evangelist Luke," in his illustrated Bible. 

It was in the spring of 1866, and at his father's estate at Novgorod, that he 
first attempted painting. He determined to begin with a big picture of three or 
four gangs of Volga boatmen, some two hundred strong, hauling their craft in the 
hot sunshine. (Some eight years after Repine produced a beautiful picture on the 
same subject, but on a smaller scale than Verestchagin had purposed.) He did a 
few sketches in the Novgorod country and the Volga ; but a fresh quarrel with 
his parents and want of money compelled him to abandon the enterprise, and he 
was again obliged to draw on wood for a living. Bida introduced him to the 
" Tour du Monde," in which appeared a French translation of his travels in the 
Caucasus, illustrated by his own sketches. In 1867 came the war in Turkestan. 
Verestchagin followed the Russian army at General Kaufman's invitation, and fought 
and sketched his way through the country at General Kaufman's side. Once, the 



94 



THE MODERN SCHOOL OF ART. 



general being absent with the main body, he defended Samarcand from a Turcoman 
assault, with only a small detachment. For this, in spite of a determined opposition 
on his part (he being the sworn foe of all rewards and distinctions), he received the 




A TAUTAK OF THE NORTHERN SLOPES OP THE CAUCASUS. 

(From "A Journey in the Caucasus" "I* Tour du Monde."} 



military order of St. George. In Paris, in the spring of 1869, he arranged an 
exhibition of his pictures and studies of the campaign, with many objects of interest 
from the newly-conquered country. This he repeated at St. Petersburg. It contained 
a great number of his studies, and his first pictures in oil, done at Tashkend in 
1867-68 as, for instance, "Victors" and "The Vanquished," the "Kussian Soldier 



BASIL VERESTCHAG1N. 



95 



Smoking his Pipe among the Enemy's Dead," the "Opium-Eaters," and " Batcha 
and his Worshippers." The last, a picture of the same type as Geroine's " Phryne 
Before the Judges," was represented hy a photograph, the artist having destroyed 




f 



A COSSACK. 

(From "A Journey in tlie Cawxutu" " Lt Tour rfu 



the original, which had been severely criticised for the extreme unpleasantness of 
its subject. These works were heavy in colour ; but thanks to their vivid and novel 
realism, the impression they produced was deep and lasting. After this exhibition 
Verestchagin went once more to Central Asia, and sketched and painted much 
there ; he studied and represented the life of the Russian exiles in Siberia ; he saw 



96 THE MODERN SCHOOL OF ART. 

some hot fighting against the Tartars, on the Chinese frontier. At last he returned 
to Europe, and in 1870 he went to Munich. He brought four pictures with him 
the "Chorus of Doornis " (a Doorni is a kind of dervish); the "Dervishes of the 
Order of Narksh-bendi ; " the "Central Asian Politicians;" and the "Beggars at 
Samarcand : " together with some studies from Nature, and upwards of one hundred 
sketches. He took the studio vacated by the death of the battle-painter Gorsheld 
(1871), and outside the town he arranged a second a box-shed surrounded by a 
hedge in which he could work all day long in the open air. Here, as in Paris, he 
lived the life of a hermit, seeing nobody, and painting continually; and in a little 
while he had produced an astonishing number of pictures of life and war in Turkestan, 
from studies made on the spot. He was no longer obliged to draw for bread, his 
father, while yet alive, having shared his fortune with his sons. 

In 1872 he painted six of a sheet of ten, designed (but never finished) to do 
duty as a sort of panoramic poem of war, to be called " The Barbarian." The last 
of these, "The Apotheosis of War " a ghastly heap of skulls is inscribed on the 
frame, " To all Great Conquerors, Past, Present, and Future." In 1873 he painted 
the " Look Out," the " Parley," " Mortally Wounded," and other works, a number 
of ethnological studies, and a great quantity of portrait studies of Russian soldiers 
and Asiatic savages. Travelling and working in the fierce daylight of Central Asia 
had taught him more about colour than he would have learned from any amount 
of copying from the Old Masters ; and when, in 1873, he exhibited at the Crystal 
Palace his Asiatic studies (1869-70) and his Munich pictures (1871-72), their 
excellent technical quality was almost as much remarked as the novel and surprising 
often repulsive quality of their material. In these works he represented either 
the wretchedness of every-day existence, or the horrors of war, exhibiting no preference 
for any one nation in particular, but painting everything that had come in his way. 
In the introduction to his catalogue he remarked that the savagery of the peoples 
of Central Asia was so glaring, and their economical and social condition so degraded, 
that they could not be subjected too soon to the influences of European civilisation, 
and that he should consider himself amply rewarded for all his toils if the graphic 
memoranda he had collected and shown were fortunate enough to help to dispel 
the English people's mistrust for their natural friends and neighbours in that quarter 
of the globe. The facts he had seen were faithfully and vigorously reported in his 
work ; the artist, as generally understood, counts for little. Battle-pictures and 
portraits, landscapes and ethnographic studies alike, all he does has the attribute of 
perfect accuracy, of hard literal truth. You find in it none of the unnatural and 
impossible decorum of the conventional representations of war ; his fights are not 
theatrical but real ; it is war, and war caught in the act. This is why in St. 
Petersburg, where Verestchagin had exhibited a year after his venture in London, 
certain persons declined to recognise the merit of his work. The public came in 
crowds ; his catalogues sold tremendously ; all the journals were loud in his praise ; 
but the pseudo-patriots accused him of slandering the Eussian army and of favouring 





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& 
w I 



a 



98 THE MODERN SCHOOL OF ART. 

the Turcomans. It was utterly impossible that any Kussian soldier could be forgotten 
on the field, or be surrounded by the enemy, or prove capable of emotion at the 
sight of a heap of dead. These things were palpable fiction : why did the artist 
paint them ? Verestchagin was so hurt by these ridiculous criticisms that with his 
own hands he burnt the " Forgotten on the Field" and the "Surrounded," which 
were in some ways the best things he had done, to show his enemies how unseemly 
such insinuations were. He failed of his purpose, however, and made matters worse 
all round ; for he was at once accused of a craving for notoriety and a habit of 
advertisement. His refusal to be Professor at the Academy was oil to the fire. 
Some, shocked beyond measure by this audacity, sought consolation in the theory 
that such a huge gathering of pictures could not possibly be the work of one man, 
and was in reality the achievement of a whole company of painters in Munich. This 
idle twaddle got into the papers, and was solemnly contradicted by the Munich Artistic 
Society. The world, indeed, thought nothing of these scandals ; M. P. Tretakoff, a 
Moscow merchant, owner of a fine collection of Eussian pictures, bought and bought 
at high prices all the Turkestan pictures and sketches the artist had shown. 

In the same year (1874) Verestchagin, for whom the Orient had a mysterious 
and irresistible charm, set out for India. He lived there some two years. He scaled, 
at peril of his life, the Himalayas during the winter ; and he made a great many 
wonderful studies of men, animals, architecture, and landscape. These new wander- 
ings in the land of the sun, and so much painting in the open air, improved his 
technical qualities considerably. Keturning (1876) to Europe, he settled near Paris, 
at Auteuil, fully proposing to paint two pictorial epics one short, the other long 
of the British conquest of India : from the presentation in Agra of the first English 
ambassador to the Great Mogul, to the triumphal entry of the Prince of Wales 
into Jeypore. Some numbers he began at Auteuil, and finished in one or other of 
the two big studios he had at Maison Laffitte, close to Paris : one an immense 
apartment for winter work ; and another for the summer, on a shedded platform 
moving on rails with the sun, and enabling him to paint all day in the open air. 
He had finished two of the set "The Great Mogul in the Mosque of Delhi" and 
" The Prince of Wales at Jeypore " when war broke out in Servia. He was anxious 
to follow the camp once more, but family matters obliged him to remain in Paris. 
The moment, however, that Eussia declared war on the Porte, he threw up every- 
thing, and hurried to the field, to serve with the van of the Eussian armies, under 
Generals Gourko, Strukoff, and Skobeleff. He saw a good deal of desperate fighting. 
In one affair, the attack on his friend Skrydloff's torpedo-boat on a Turkish river, 
he nearly lost his life ; he was badly hurt in the leg, and lay for a long time in 
Bucharest hospital. His brother Sergius, Skobeleff 's orderly, a painter like himself, 
was killed at Plevna. Basil could not take part in that famous leaguer, as 
his wound was not quite healed ; he was present, however, as a spectator, and 
saw Osman surrender. He crossed the Balkans at Shipka with the Eussian army, 
saw as the two magnificent pictures we have engraved will show the desperate 



BASTL VERESTCHAGIN. 



99 



battle of Telisch, served as chief of the staff in the cavalry raid on Adrianople, and 
was employed as a secretary during tb<>-~ Aiinder > a ^ so one ^ns for peace. In spite 
of all this he found time to m^ n in nearl y a11 the Continent* -, the factg of the 
war ; many of these, uufortur imbur g' Brussels, Pesth, Moscow ; and the Mftrch 
of the Guard were lost by J - At Vienna, in a single month, there were aV From 
such as were left, and a nu rt y- five thousand of whom bought catalogues; F theatre 
of war, he painted in p a ri lousaild visitors, and a sale of forty-five thousau4 ampaign 
They are even more lite< n g th and breadth of Europe. The cost of cai/ Hig hearfc 
was altogether in his ^ rable > and Verestchagin was obliged to charge / them; hig 
patient labour in the op' vever > he ke P t his P rices as low as P ossible 5 f V perfect his 
method; and in this re lfluence for g od > and he had it; at heart to be /of his most 
striking work :-a Turk 11 ^ 1 ^ was S reatl y ^creased. Art-critics and pa/ bbers> Bashi . 
Bazouks;" a RussianF 36 * 1 their countrymen to study his work. | winter . the 
Batteries;" a "Russian 1 *? new P ictures < of India and Turkestan), L Nicholag .,, 
and A Snow Storm t f the Indian J oume y he had made m oom P%h others-was 
exhibited, in 1874, at So, India ' and makin S studies for other P lcture L loud in their 
praise ; the English arti' e -P ictures and studies at hl 8 h P nces " /ton, and others) 

gave their painter a cord je that ^erestchagin may put by his epi 

* 4-1, -4-v. ,^- '8 of India and Turkestan, and that he m 

together with a certain Ivar not shown at 

South Kensington :-th^ a y s had a lively interest in matters RUSSIA Tfae 

Bivouac; "and the or^ e PPrtunity of Eastern travel, his P a 
and "The Vanquish his work a ^ l ^ rather co^opolitan 

Jules Claretie wrote 3e ^ feel 5 and for this reason he 1S a trav %ition. 
. , T -, QO , asks, in an age of railways and steamboatsi_ . 
At last, in 188( J /his Indian work and 

n u-,, ,-~4.,, ~t 4-v' 8 profit so little by their epoch, and stay si 
all his pictures of it ^ J J before, his exhibition 



Turks at Telisch) 



was free, excepting 
benefit of the Russia 
of the Shipka Pass 
desperate campaign- 
reactionaries more 
showing only the i 
ill-wisher, and went 
were in a very aim 
visited by some tv 
catalogues. Then c 
of Moscow and St. 
the collection was 
principal pictures wt 
realised of over a hu 
With this Veres. 




or admission, for the 
The new pictures 
ving incidents of the 
A few fanatics and 
of uutruthfulness, of 
country's enemy and 
abilities. But they 
the exhibition it was 
and of whom bought 
udies. The collectors 
Iran high ; the pick of 
le determination. The 
i roubles, and a total was 



aside and devoted himself to his 



picture-history of the war. He painted " Plevna Before the Assault," " Plevna After 
the Assault," " The Turkish Hospital ; " and he sent them, with other battle-pictures 



Tmded by the enei 
dead. These things were palp' 
Verestchagin was so hurt by these rid?? 
he burnt the " Forgotten on the Field " 

ways the best things he had done, to show' 
lations were. He failed of his purpose, howevel 
for he was at once accused of a craving 
it. His refusal to be Professor at the Acadf 

beyond measure by this audacity, sought <| 
huge gathering of pictures could not possibly 
^ality the achievement of a whole company of pi 
3t into the papers, and was solemnly contradict/ 
[world, indeed, thought nothing of these scan! 
it, owner of a fine collection of Russian pictip 
the Turkestan pictures and sketches thej 
year (1874) Verestchagin, for whom the 
larm, set out for India. He lived there soi 
|e, the Himalayas during the winter ; and 
men, animals, architecture, and landscap^ 
the sun, and so much painting in the 
Considerably. Returning (1876) to Europe, 
nosing to paint two pictorial epics one sh3 
of India : from the presentation in Agra 1 
rreat Mogul, to the triumphal entry of til 
numbers he began at Auteuil, and finished! 
|he had at Maison Laffitte, close to Parisj 
work ; and another for the summer, on 
the sun, and enabling him to paint all c| 
)f the set" The Great Mogul in the Mel 
at Jeypore " when war broke out in Servl 
ice more, but family matters obliged himf 
|, that Russia declared war on the Porte, I 
'the field, to serve with the van of the Ri| 
f, and Skobeleff. He saw a good deal oj| 
3k on his friend Skrydloffs torpedo-boatj 

he was badly hurt in the leg, and 
^brother Sergius, Skobeleff 's orderly, a, 
isil could not take part in that 
he was present, however.. 



A KIRGHIZ FALCONER. 



KASTL VERESTrjTAGIX. 101 

and some of the Indian and Turcoman studies, on a tour through Europe, under 
the care of his younger brother Alexander, also one of Skobeleffs orderlies. In 
1881-83 the exhibition was seen in nearly all the Continental centres at Vienna, 
Paris, Berlin, Dresden, Hamburg, Brussels, Pesth, Moscow; and everywhere it 
attracted crowds of people. At Vienna, in a single month, there were a hundred and 
ten thousand visitors, forty-five thousand of whom bought catalogues ; at Berlin, a 
hundred and forty-five thousand visitors, and a sale of forty-five thousand catalogues ; 
and so through the length and breadth of Europe. The cost of carriage and of 
exhibition was considerable, and Verestchagin was obliged to charge for admission. 
From first to last, however, he kept his prices as low as possible ; for he holds that 
an exhibition is an influence for good, and he had it at heart to be visited and seen 
by the poor. His popularity was greatly increased. Art-critics and painters applauded 
him heartily, and advised their countrymen to study his work. All this while he 
was in Paris painting new pictures (of India and Turkestan), or preparing for 
publication his notes of the Indian journey he had made in company with his wife ; 
or travelling anew in India, and making studies for other pictures. At Moscow he 
sold some of his battle-pictures and studies at high prices. 

It is quite possible that Verestchagin may put by his " epic of war," as he put 
by his picture-histories of India and Turkestan, and that he may take new subjects 
in hand. He has always had a lively interest in matters Russian ; but the necessity 
of making money, the opportunity of Eastern travel, his passion for war and the 
camp, have given his work a quality rather cosmopolitan than national. Ere he 
paints he must see and feel ; and for this reason he is a traveller. What difficulties 
can there be, he asks, in an age of railways and steamboats ? To him the wonder 
is that his fellows profit so little by their epoch, and stay so much at home. 




A COSSACK. 

(from n "Journey in Hie Caucasus." "U Tour rfu Monde.'") 




THE END OF THE JOURNEY. 

(From the Collection of the late Captain Hill, of Brlyliton.) 




PHIL MORRIS, A.R.A. 

* 

HE best place to see an artist's works is neither a yearly exhibition nor 
a permanent public collection, for there they will always kill, or be 
killed by, inharmonious pictures, chosen by various and discordant tastes. 
Nor will one man's work ever be there in any great quantity. The 
right conditions are doubtless those of a private gallery, especially when the 
collector has had a special fancy for a special painter, and has in a great 
measure " bought him up." Such a fancy had the late Captain Hill for Mr. Phil 
Morris, whose principal pictures for many years he got together in his own treasui-e- 
house of art at Brighton. 

And yet Brighton is not suggestive of art. Philistinism in its most cheerful 
form reigns supreme on the King's Koad and Marine Parade, and even the easiest 
kind of all art sestheticism in dress was not at home, in its palmy days, in the 
bleak and busy town, made little display on the Chain Pier, and was feebly repre- 
sented in the musters of feminine fashion. The robust advocates of all that is 
"healthily" tight, trim, British, and usual would perhaps opine that the sea-breezes 
were too wholesome for the languors of the artistic craze; our own more literal 




(from Hit 



1IOMK. s \VKKT HOMK. 
, hu ]'. I!. Morris. A.I: . I. 1: ArntalM :,t A. 8. Diion. /.) 



PHIL MORRIS, A.R.A 103 

reading of the matter is that the actual breezes that come so freshly from the sea 
are not friendly to the long and soft draperies and prepared accidents of pseudo- 
mediaeval attire. However this may he, Brighton wears an air of determination to 
be braced which is distinctly opposed to the recollection and meditation of enthu- 
siastic art. Our preconceived notion of a Brighton picture-gallery would be that 
of an eminently "healthy" gathering of polished horses and dogs by Landseer, 
some " legitimate " histrionic compositions of Maclise, studies in contemporary life 
by Mr. Frith, some of Mr. Vicat Cole's landscapes to remind us of the beauties of 
inland country, and a few of the many uncompromising sea-pieces by which English 
art has illustrated the severities of the national climate. The late Captain Hill's 
house one of many on the Marine Parade, bright, white, and unsuggestive dis- 
closed a very different taste. Not that any strong predilection for the work of 
any,of the little schools of modern English art was there obtrusively apparent. The 
collector had not insisted quand meme upon Mr. Burne-Jones's ideal, or Mr. Pettie's 
manner, or Mr. Frank Holl's method ; but there was everywhere an impression of 
good, advanced, and interesting art, without monotony. A great delight in the 
works of one or two painters was undoubtedly shown, but without any narrow or 
exclusive devotedness to the schools and principles of those painters. The impres- 
sion was not, of course, literally correct, but it would have seemed at the first 
glance that all Mr. Phil Morris's most important pictures were assembled here ; yet 
painters of taste and work most opposed to Mr. Morris's were there as well. Cap- 
tain Hill had, besides, confined himself neither to his own time nor to his own 
country in his researches. 

The collection was gathered into a cluster of moderately-sized, well-lighted 
rooms, devoted entirely to the purposes of a gallery, except for the presence of a 
pianoforte a queue, which suggested a very delightful combination of pleasures 
Chopin with Corot, and other happy unions of suggestive art. But the whole 
house was flowing over with pictures, the drawing-room being hung with them, 
and even the obscurer walls of an ante-room being covered. Nothing was hung 
positively too high for a good sight, and some of the more centrally-placed pictures 
were so advantageously lighted and looked so brilliant that they seemed to be full 
of a fresh force. 

Mr. Phil Morris's " Cradled in his Calling " is in some respects the artist's 
most delightful picture : the grace of the composition, the buoyant movement of 
the actions, the atmosphere, and the prevailing blue sea-light, combining to give 
it a peculiar charm. A troop of fisher-folk, going on their way over the cliffs, 
have swung the baby in one of his father's nets by way of hammock, and are 
carrying him so in the breeze and sunshine of the coast. The figures are drawn 
with uncommon grace and impulse. Among the larger and more important com- 
positions which the late Captain Hill had chosen from the many works of the same 
artist is " The End of the Journey," one of those quasi-allegorical subjects which 
are so popular in contemporary English art, having, besides the primary meaning, a 




a 
i 
I 



9 I 



H 
j 

a 



PHIL MORRIS, A.R.A. 



105 



secondary one by no means apt to be lost through a want of obviousness or a too 
great reserve in its suggestion. In " The End of the Journey " an old soldier 
has returned to his native hamlet, and has reached the ferry which will take him 
across the peaceful stream to his home. It is evening, and beyond the water, 
against the waning light, comes the ferryman to meet him ; in this figure, with 
its quasi-classic line and action, the suggestion of Charon is of course apparent. 
A young girl, who has helped to carry the old man's drum, stands at his side, 
her fresh beauty contrasting with his melancholy wrinkles. Assuredly the picture 




THE QUEEN'S SHILUNO. 

is particularly pleasing to the lovers of easy allegory ; but it is valuable in an 
artistic sense for the quality of its work and for its many merits of light and 
effect. Still more to our taste on these accounts is the original and brilliant 
composition of the " Ship-builders." Mr. Morris has made it noisy with the clatter 
of the mallets and hammers of his ship's carpenters, as they stand driving their 
blows into the vessel's sides in strokes which come in groups, in succession, in 
single sounds, and in cannonades, after the manner of many hammers at work ; 
the ear can imagine the irregular but pleasant rhythm of the blows. All sounds 
of manual labour, it may be said in passing, have a certain beauty. Who that 
has been at harvest-time in Switzerland has not marked the busy noise of the 
flails at work on the threshing-floor, as they beat their well- accentuated time to a 
tune they create in the listener's head? So with all sounds of spade, pick, creak- 
ing wain, loom and shuttle, plashing oars, the " sweep of scythe in morning 
dews ; " all these are distinctly beautiful, whereas the sounds of all kinds of 
machine-labour are unquestionably ugly. When the hand of man is behind the 

43 



106 THE MODERN SCHOOL OF ART. 

tool it makes a pleasant, poetic, or suggestive sound; but -when it sets steam or 
other power at work to move the tool, the result is invariably an intolerable noise, 
such as the yell of the steam-whistle, the ringing buzz and whirr of a saw-mill, 
the hard roar of an express train, and all the other too familiar clatters, screams, 
rattles, and bangs which distract the air of the modem world. As attractive as 
Mr. Morris's " Ship-builders," in another manner, is the somewhat slight and very 
dreamy woodland study, with its sauntering figures " Journeys End in Lovers ' 
Meeting." The title, by the way, is not very obviously appropriate, as the lovers 
have evidently met some time before, and the ladies who follow are otherwise 
interested. 

In " The Reaper and the Flowers," the merry children link hands and form 
a chain before the old man on the road, but they will not stay his advance, any 
more than they will be able to resist the progress of Time, which he symbolises, 
and which will bring them to be as decrepit as the old woman walking up the 
hill, and will finally cut them down with the scythe. All this sentiment is well 
expressed by Mr. Phil Morris on his canvas one of the many canvases of his in the 
collection of the late Captain Hill. At every turn in the galleries the familiar manner 
of this artist met the eye. "The Sons of the Brave " a picture which owed 
much to its title, but which was so good that nobody grudged it the accidental 
advantage it thereby obtained was also there, with a smaller replica or study which, 
except in the motive of the central group, offers curious points of difference, being 
of another shape far longer, with extra figures at the sides ; and that picture of 
peace, the "Procession of First Communicants at Dieppe " girls in white in 
that wonderful white drapery of Mr. Morris's, which is used again in the picture 
of three girls who have been bathing, and whose toilet has been disturbed by a calf, 
this also being in the late Captain Hill's collection, with a number of others by the 
same versatile hand. Very rarely in the history of art has so constant a patron 
been found by any one artist, and rarely has patronage been so deservedly won. 

Several of Mr. Phil Morris's sketches and studies of landscape are very fresh 
and artistic, and one or two have caught without the deliberate imitation which 
is never happily or successfully applied to that particular master's exceedingly 
individual manner some of the lightness, impulse, and sweetness of Corot. 

Since Captain Hill made his brilliant collection, which included several very 
beautiful examples of older English art, especially of Morland's lovely pearly tones and 
colours, one or two of Millet's immortal peasant pictures, and a number of wonderfully 
true impressions by Degas, Mr. Morris has somewhat changed his style. He has seemed 
of late years to paint for the sake of prettiness, and of a more trivial effectiveness 
than he ever aimed at formerly. He appears to have become a little less painter- 
like in his aims, and to seek to interest by popular subject rather than by the fine 
pictorial qualities of " Cradled in his Calling" and the " Ship-builders." How much 
more the public has been taken by a rather noisy picture of the "First Prince of 
Wales " displayed upon a shield to the assembled Cambrians, than by the painter's 




___ 

w i 

{B | 
O (5 



H * 

K *, 

f I 

o I 





W 
0. 



108 



THE MODERN SCHOOL OF ART. 



beautiful studies of out-of-door tone and light, we cannot say. But we may hope 
that he will yet return to his first loves. Many another Academician and Associate 
can satisfy the nation with a "First Prince of Wales," and delight the sentimental 
with a boudoir Eve nursing a little Cain and Abel in a nest of dyed feathers from 
Paris ; but not many, in the Academy or out of it, can paint the blue sea air, and 
can give the movement of the iinconscious limbs of fishermen's daughters on the 
downs. In these papers, dealing as they do with living men chiefly, we have 
abstained from obtruding criticism when defects arise from incapacity. But in the 
case of this artist, who has proved that he has rare pictorial quality, and who has 

made his choice delibe- 
rately, we are impelled 
to give gratuitous re- 
monstrance ! 

Mr. Morris's princi- 
pal works not already 
described are the follow- 
ing : In 1858 he made 
an early debut at the 
Eoyal Academy with 
" Peaceful Days," which 
was bought by T. R. 
Creswick, E.A. To the 
then popular little gallery 
called the British Institu- 
tion, or in the mild slang 
of Thackeray's artists, the 
"Brish Inst," he contributed, in 1860, "The Widow's Harvest," in 1864, "Where they 
Crucified Him," and in 1865, "The Battle Scar." His "Voices of the Sea" was at the 
Eoyal Academy in 1860, " The Captive's Eeturn " in 1861, " Jesu Salvator " in 1865, 
"Eiven Shield" in 1866, "Drift from the Wreck of the Armada" in 1867, "Am- 
buscade " in 1869, " The Summit of Calvary" in 1871, " Highland Pastoral" in 1872, 
"Whereon He Died" in 1873, "Through the Dell " in 1874, "The Mowers" in 
1875. The last-named shows some mowers in a field, a woman approaching. The 
drawing and movement are excellent, the brawny arms are strenuously at work. 
In the distant background there is a contrasting feeling of rest in wooded hills and 
shade. " The Sailor's Wedding " (1876) is a charming picture of a little procession 
of a bridal party on the sands, within splash and spray of a high sea. Men and 
women are tossed and buffeted by the good sea-wind, and the bride's gay scarf is 
thrown into an arch, like the drapery of a Greek, as she clings to the arm of her 
roving lord. In 1877 came " The Heir of the Manor," a scene in a park glade, 
where the little heir, some three years old, stands abashed before a herd of does 
and fawns, who meet him in the soft sunlight. His mother watches at a little 




PROCESSION OF FII1ST COMMUNICANTS AT DIEPPE. 




THE CONDITION OF TURKEY, 
(from the Collection of tke fate Ca2'laii> Hill, of UriyJIon.) 



110 THE MODERN SCHOOL OF ART. 

distance. With this was " The Lost Heir," behind the scenes in a gipsies' barn, 
where a little vagabond is dressing the stolen child, who submits meekly to the 
rough handling by dark gipsy hands of his delicate, fair body. In the following 
year Mr. Morris exhibited a portrait of Mrs. Frederick Leyland and a large study 
of deer. To 1880 belong "Hagar" and "Fording the Stream," huntsmen crossing 
a rivulet in a wood, up to the girths in water. Next year our artist returned to 
the sea, in his bit of fisher-life in trouble " Sale of the Boat." Down by the edge 
of the sea, where the boats are drawn up, the sale is going forward amid a group 
of sailors. The young wife of the fisherman who is parting with his sea friend and 
breadwinner, sits in the foreground, with her charming, sad face turned away ; one 
of her boys a little wistfully leans on her shoulder ; a younger one rolls laughing 
and playing in the sand. The nets which she has often mended, and which are 
to be idle now, lie near her feet! To the same season belongs the portrait of Mrs. 
Phil Morris and her daughter. In 1885, with the "First Prince of Wales," we had 
portraits of Maud and Mary Chester, "The Little Mother," and "The Farmer's 
Daughter ;" and in 1886 portraits of Mrs. Edgar Flower and her youngest son, of 
the late Sir Walter Burrell, and of Mrs. Joseph Parker; "The Lone Farm," and 
"Oh, Vanity!" "Taking the Queen's Shilling" dates a few years back. It shows 
the rather desperate joy of a young villager, who is acclaimed by a group of 
children, but whose mother hears the rumour with a pang at her heart. " The 
Condition of Turkey " is a careful farmyard study, which gains little from the mild 
pun of the title. 

Some of Mr. Phil Morris's best pictures, as some of his least good, have been 
at the Grosvenor Gallery. He has exhibited there " The Model," " Keturn from 
Confirmation," "The Mask," "By Cloud-capped Cader Gathering the Flocks," 
" Playmates," the " Ship-builders," the picture of Eve and her babies, to which we 
have already alluded, and " Breezy England." At the Paris International, in 1878, 
the artist was represented by the " Sailor's Wedding," the " Mowers," and the 
"Reaper and the Flowers." 

Born in 1836, Mr. Morris entered early on his art-studies, drawing for some time in 
the best school we have in England the Elgin Marble room at the British Museum. 
In 1855 he began his course in the Eoyal Academy schools, winning in his first 
year the silver medal for drawing from the life. In 1856 he gained two medals ; 
in 1858 he carried off the gold medal for historical painting, the subject given being 
the " Good Samaritan." Winning at the same time the travelling studentship, he 
spent some time in Italy and France. He was elected an Associate in 1878. 






(From a rhotoqrapK by Mtssri. Elliott onrf Fry.) 



HENRY STACY MARKS, R.A. 

T is doubtful whether, but for Mr. Henry Stacy Marks as the precursor 
of the modern return to the quaintly decorative as well as the pictorial 
art of the Middle Ages, we might not still be languishing on in the 
clumsily humorous or sickly sentimental style, which for so many years 
was thought the fit and only one to be applied to the illustration of our 
books, comic or serious, for young or old, and to a large extent to the 
adornment of our houses. It is Mr. Marks who has introduced, and made fami- 
liar to us, the delightful blending of colours and quaint delicacy of form and 
design pervading the fashion of the day in the thousand and one matters that can 




112 THE MODERN SCHOOL OF ART. 

be affected by such art as his ; and for the welcome reform he has brought about in all 
these respects he deserves our warmest thanks. He is distinctly one of the most 
representative of representative men, and his election in 1878 to the full honours of 
the Eoyal Academy was a matter of congratulation to all concerned. But when we 
remember that in his pictures, properly so called, as distinct from the illustrative 




ST. FKASOIS PREACHISG TO THE 1IIRUS. 

(By kind Permission of Mr. Angus Ilolden, of Bradford.) 



and decorative work on which he is so largely engaged, he has displayed powers as 
a painter pure and simple, of a high class, and that he has given us for the last 
five- and- twenty years some of the most amusing bits of character and humour that 
have ever appeared upon the walls of our Eoyal Academy and other exhibitions, we 
may surely regard him as one of the original and distinguished artists of the English 
school. Contriving not unfrequently to weave a strong thread of pathos into the 
fabric of dry fun in which he revels, painting landscape as well as he does 



HRNRT 8TACT MARKS, R.A. 113 

humanity, and birds and beasts as well as either, he may be quoted as an eminently 
and thorcwghly versatile artist, whilst the specialty which he long ago developed for 
himself as a " bird fancier " oil canvas, puts him far ahead of all rivalry in what 
may be described as pictorial and humorous ornithology. Most steady and legitimate 
has been his progress upwards since the days when " Toothache in the Middle 
Ages" (185G) first attracted attention from the originality and quaintness of the 
mere notion. Not, however, that this was by any means the picture with which 
he commenced his public career at the Royal Academy. Turning to the catalogues, 
we see in his earliest exhibited works that the " Dogberrian " side of life had from 
the first an especial attraction for him. It has never been quite absent, and still 
forms the leading sentiment in some shape or other in nearly everything he produces, 
albeit latterly it has cropped up in the guise of his remarkable long-legged, long- 
necked, long-beaked birds. In 1853 Mr. Marks submitted to the Council of the then 
existing British Institution his first attempt in oil; but the "lay" element in that 
body rejected the " Dogberry Examining Conrade and Borachio," which, nevertheless, 
found a good place just below the line and beside Holman Hunt's "Strayed Sheep" 
on the walls in Trafalgar Square, and from that day forth (1853) as he himself 
puts it " H. S. M. has been represented in the Eoyal Academy Exhibitions some- 
times on the ground sometimes on the ceiling but ' all there ' somehow." 

Such characters as " Christopher Sly," " Bardolph," " Slender," " Francis 
Feeble," "Bottom," &c., together with their like in more modern guise, have 
supplied him with never-ending themes. Subjects in which these personages figured 
conspicuously carried him prosperously onward till 1861, when the most ambitious 
and complete work he had yet produced clenched the good opinion the judges had 
formed of his powers. "The Franciscan Sculptor and his Model" embodied in a 
high degree all his excellences, and the sly fun, originality, and freshness of the 
idea, as well as its admirable execution, must be still in the memory of most of 
those that saw it. Suffice it to say that it is a malicious little scene from the 
grave cloister in the Middle Ages. The sculptor-friar is chiselling a gargoyle for 
the outside of the community chapel, and he takes for the model of his grotesque 
the profile of a lay brother. The intent gravity of the sculptor, who is evidently 
the Immourist of the house, and the ill-repressed laughter of his brethren, are well 
rendered. 

Between this date and the removal of the Royal Academy to Burlington House, 
amidst a succession of pictures never varying in their general merit, may be 
enumerated, as especially striking, the following : " How Shakespeare Studied " 
(1863), "Doctors Differ" (1864), "Beggars Coming to Town" (1865), " Falstaff's 
Own" (1867), "Experimental Gunnery in the Middle Ages" (1868), and "The 
Minstrel's Gallery" (1869), an admirable work, the first exhibited by our artist at 
Burlington House. In 1870 was given us the first taste in oil of Mr. Marks' quality 
as an ornithological painter, and, with what had gone before, his " St. Francis 
Preaching to the Birds " landed him, in the January of the following year, most 
44 



114 



THE MODERN SCHOOL OF ART. 



justly and safely into the haven of an Associateship. Conscientious and trustworthy 
in method to the highest degree, his " Book-worm," in 1871, by its thoroughness 
and completeness, setting aside its technical and other merits, which were perhaps 
beyond any yet displayed in the painter's work, fully warranted the choice of the 
Koyal Academicians. Again, in 1872, "Waiting for the Procession," and in 1873, 
"The Ornithologist," and a remarkably quaint bit called "What is it?" steadily 
kept the artist to the front. "Capital and Labour," "A Page of Eabelais," "The 
Latest Fashion," and "Winter" (the latter an important decorative work), were the 




CAHTOON FOR "WHAT IS IT?" 

(The Picture, much altered from the Cartoon, was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1S73.) 

four contributions from Mr. Marks in 1874, and the largest number he ever exhibited 
in one season at the Koyal Academy. That prosperity and success were in no way 
going to check the energy of the artist was proved indisputably by each succeeding 
effort. " The Jolly Post Boys," and " A Merry Jest " (1875), as examples, were 
in all respects in his best manner. No less so was "The Apothecary" of 1876, 
"The Spider and the Fly," and "A Bit of Blue" (1877), whilst in "Convocation" 
(1878) we had another of his remarkable "bird fancies," more than enough, in the 
opinion of many judges, to have ensured the final academic honour just afterwards 
conferred on him. 

Of Mr. Marks' work of late years his more official work as an Academician 
there is, as with so many, a rather various record to be made. At his best he 
paints with a suggestiveness of fun which is better, or seems better in some of our 
moods, than explicit drollery, and with a great completeness and finish of technique. 
Sometimes there is a little lack of strength in the drawing, and the suggestions 




THE APOTHECARY. 

(B Hud Fermiaian <tf Mr. U. J. Turntr.) 



116 



THE MODERN SCHOOL OF ART. 



of humour are so reserved and reticent as to be almost negative. Or perhaps the 
fault is rather our own, when we expect a joke and look for it in some literal subject 
not intended to amuse us. In 1879 the artist exhibited "Intellect and Instinct" 
a little landscape, an old gentleman absorbed in study, and his little dog intent on 
observation. With this was " Old Friends," and " Science is Measurement." The 
former is a capital motive. Into one of the timber-yards of Chelsea, or some 
other place of wharves and wood, have strayed two old salts, who stand looking up 
at the figure-heads which have been hewn off and stacked among the timbers of old 
ships. Those timbers are for firewood, and in the winter evenings they will make talk 

among tea-sippers in some aesthetic drawing-room, who 
will chat about the tints of blue and rose and violet 
playing in the flames of the brine-impregnated logs. 
The salt of many oceans, of many storms and calms, 
will make the show of colour, and the hostess will say j 
" Yes, we always burn old ships." But to these figure- 
heads the two old men have made a kind of pilgrimage. 
With one of them they are indeed old friends, com- 
panions of past years. The two spent lives and the 
figure-head which keeps its bold outlook over the planks 
and lumber as it was wont to keep it across the waves, 
are part of a forgotten past. " Science is Measurement" 
shows the painter's favourite ornithologist facing the 
skeleton of a huge bird, which he is about to measure 
with his tape ; the pen for making the record of dimen- 
sions is in his mouth. No one who has been among 
natural history collections can have failed to see the humour of certain birds, whether 
alive or stuffed, or in the skeleton form. Perhaps, indeed, the expression of the 
skeleton is the most comic, especially when in contrast with the unconsciousness ot 
the old savant. In " An Episcopal Visitation," Mr. Marks makes another comic 
combination, putting two live adjutant storks over against a Bishop among the bird- 
pens of the Zoological Gardens. Adjutant storks and Bishops certainly offer a com- 
parison of gravities not without piquant effect. To the same year belongs " Author 
and Critics," in which the painter has indulged himself and us with some very 
definite comedy. With real ability he has rendered the worn and simple egoism 
of the poor author, who is inflicting such a tyranny on two much-oppressed friends. 
The one has reached a kind of dismal resignation, mitigated by tobacco ; the 
other has evidently made some former feeble attempt to go, and has finally sat 
down again with his hat on. And yet, in spite of unspeakable boredom, it is by 
no means the critics with whom we sympathise most. They are doubtless enduring 
much, but the tale told in the thin face of the oppressor is by far the most pathetic. 
It is so evident that he has never had and will never have a chance of inflicting 
himself on the world, as he is inflicting himself on these. 




"SCIENCE is MEASUREMENT." 



HENRY STACY MARKS, R.A. 



117 



Next came " The Man of Law," " A Fugitive Thought " the single figure of 
a monk writing, "A Son'* "* Words " a student walking in the woods 

listening to a bird, anat though never an absvight before Jack Cade." This is a 
composition with A seldom represented by more v than Mr. Marks often attempts, 
and it is, perhaje, partly due to the large claims . It has a lack of vigour, and 
the body of Jaon of a variety of decorative work p\ it had not the unfair advan- 



tage of being adorn the houses 
Shakespeare has/ their employment 
.show themselves to 
as much good 
The "Winter," 



that which the mob-hating 




Messenger. Mj 

made usith 
Cade. Well, L. 

lord! n . 

my ma 1S a Case ln P 0lnt > 

erectin.a series representing 
score tesigned, we believe, 

crown,. .. . i-iT i 

hast i lon * a l ar o e bmiard- 

on a untry house. Moro- 

Say. What ar k g wag elected in 

Cade. Marr . , . n . 

their - ssocia te of the Society 
i Water-Colours ; and 

Say These d some -^ studieg 

Cade. Give . 

Say. Long ias n t hitherto been 
Hath contributor to the 

Cade. Ye 



The folio 
in "The Old 
to an infallible 
ornithologist, a 
exordium of a 
in classificatioi 
birds are not 3 
attached lines, 
suggestions of 



Id the towns in France ; lie that 
und, the last subsidy. 
, thou serge, nay, tliou buckram 
frtl. What canst thou answer to 
oted the youth of the realm in 
's had no other books but the 
nd, contrary to the king, his 
proved to thy face that thou 
Thou dost ride 



.onester men than thou go in 



hich so well suits him 
, is regulating according 
The Professor," again an 
expression, beginning the 
and skulls that are ranged 
irnilar subject, hi which the 
/reatise on Parrots," Mr. Marks 

* 

ith the inevitable humour of the 

id delicate in form, 
Sse very effigies 
nent lack to life, 
emaining, still 



fir the dreaming heart : 
Te-long lover of sweet fowls, 
Id, calm, and solitary, feels the glow, 
The love of science and the love of art, 
Which stir the tender soul, yet strongly drawn 
To worship the Creator in His works." 



With this was exhibited "At the Printseller's," in which the painter touched upon 
another kind of hobby. Finally, to the Academy of 1886 Mr. Marks contributed 




[Wthe artist exhibited " 
In absorbed in study, and his 1T9I|| 
fid Friends," and " Science is Mea| 
Pinto one of the timber-yards of C|j 
flood, have strayed two old salts, who si 
lave been hewn off and stacked among tlJ 
Ir firewood, and in the winter evenings thejf 

1 II . 

among tea-sippers in some assthetic drai| 
will chat about the tints of blue and 
playing in the flames of the brine-imp 1 ' 
The salt of many oceans, of many stornf 
will make the show of colour, and the he 
" Yes, we always burn old ships." But tcffl 
heads the two old men have made a kind 
With one of them they are indeed old 
panions of past years. The two spent 
figure-head which keeps its bold outlook o^ 
and lumber as it was wont to keep it acre 
are part of a forgotten past. " Science is 
shows the painter's favourite ornithologifl 
skeleton of a huge bird, which he is aboj 
with his tape ; the pen for making the reel 
sions is in his mouth. No one who haq 
k can have failed to see the humour of certain 
skeleton form. Perhaps, indeed, the exj 
Especially when in contrast with the unct 
Wscopal Visitation," Mr. Marks makes 
;|| Adjutant storks over against a Bishop 
Ik Adjutant storks and Bishops certain! 
kmant effect. To the same year be 
has indulged himself and us 
has rendered the worn 
tyranny on two much- 
ion, mitigatf 




o 

fcS 
<! 
o 



o 
o 



" ' :',;:, ' 



' 



HENRY STACY MARKS, R.A. 



119 



" " 



A Plain Case," "At the Ferry," and a portrait of the 



" A Delicate Question, 
late Mr. John Aird. 

It will be seen that though never an absentee from the great annual picture 
show, he has been seldom represented by more than two or three works per year. 
This is, of course, partly due to the large claims which are made upon his time 
for the production of a variety of decorative work painted in situ, or at any rate, 
painted only to adorn the houses _ ^^^^^^ 

of those who, by their employment 
of Mr. Marks, show themselves to 
be endowed with as much good 
sense as money. The " Winter," 
just mentioned, is a case in point, 
being one of a series representing 
the seasons, designed, we believe, 
for the decoration of a large billiard- 
room in a country house. More- 
over, Mr. Marks was elected in 
March, 1871, Associate of the Society 
of Painters in Water-Colours ; and 
though, beyond some quaint studies 
of birds, he has not hitherto been 
a prominent contributor to the 
gallery, the public have had many 
an opport 
masterly ? 
from the 
"The P 
" Thoug 
hibited 
of Wai 
Gallery 
these f 
for sta 
being c 
in oil 
verance, 
engaged 
his eveni 




STUDY A rtOUGHBOY. 




was elected in 1867. Add to 
wings on the wood, his designs 
understood why, in spite of his 
, he is not so great a producer 
le energy, diligence, and perse- 
those early times when he was 
lusiasm for art made him devote 
in Newman Street. Here he 
time, of such men as Calderon, 



also have since made a mark 



formed tl 

Hodgson, 

in life; and the^lrt^. ..ucnt having been strongly encouraged l>y 

surroundings, he determined, when he came of age (1850), " to bum his boats," 



120 



THE MODERN SCHOOL OF ART. 




AUTHOR AND CRITICS. 



and striking out manfully, make for the shore on which we have seen him land 
in safety. He was born in Great Portland Street, London, in 1829, and he himself 

declares that, although he was 
always fond of drawing as a child, 
some of his early productions still 
in his possession display nothing 
remarkable or promising; they are 
exactly like what other children of 
six or seven delight in drawing. 
With the modesty about his own 
work which still distinguishes him, 
he further declares that his earliest 
studies from the antique and the 
life, both at Leigh's and at the 
Academy (into which he was ad- 
mitted a student 1851), were far 
from meritorious. The first real 

spurt he seems to have had was in 1853, when, at the instigation of his friend 

Calderon, he scraped funds together and went to Paris, where he studied for five 

months in the atelier of M. Picot, the result very soon being, as we have seen, 

the picture of " Dogberry Examining Conrade and Borachio." 

It has been well said that "it is in the art we love that the truest and 

deepest emotions of our nature our true selves find expression," and that, in 

short, a man is like his 

pictures. This certainly 

is the case with Henry 

Stacy Marks. He is 

essentially the man you 

would expect to be the 

producer of such work 

as his. Not only is his 

personal appearance, 

with his sedately hu- 
morous expression, the 

quiet twinkle in his 

bright eye, and the sly 

fun playing about the 

corners of his mouth, 

suggestive of it, but in 

a deeper sense than this 

he is like his pictures. 

, -1 T : - ' : - : - ' - -U " --^-'' - 

In their honesty, 




tor making tne it* 

mouth. No one who has 

jjfed to see the humour of certain 
form. Perhaps, indeed, the ex 
ly when in contrast with the unc 
pal Visitation," Mr. Marks makes 
utant storks over against a Bishop 
Adjutant storks and Bishops certain 
ouant effect. To the same year b 
c has indulged himself and us 
ja\he has rendered the worn 
fij'-li a tyranny on two much- 
mitiat 





HALF HOURS AT THE " ZOO :" A STUDY. 



HENRY STACY MARKS, R.A. 



121 



thoroughness, and conscientious painstaking completeness, they are but the reflex 
of his character. All who enjoy the pleasure of his friendship will endorse this 
statement to the letter, whilst those less fortunate will not he surprised- to hear 
that, in addition to these qualities, socially he is one of the most amusing and 
delightful companions that it is possible to meet. With Shakespeare at his fingers' 
ends, with an inexhaustible fund of anecdote at his command, an able versifier, 
a singer of a good song, a teller of a good story, he is indeed hard to match ; 
and looking back over the brief outline we have here traced of his life and career, 
and remembering that his success has been reached through no path of roses, but 
across many a rough and stony bit of road, it will be readily admitted, as we said 
at starting, that he is a thoroughly representative man. 




STUDY A M.OVOHBOY. 



45 




(From o Photograph by the London Stereoscopic Company.) 



MARCUS STONE, R.A. 

HAT a distinguished artist son should follow a distinguished artist father 
is rare enough to call for special remark, even when father and son are 
as unlike in the quality of their attainments as in the manner of their 
sxiccesses. The name of Frank Stone is familiar as that of a member 
of a society which comprised the chief literary and artistic talent of the 
time. And the father's friends were the son's. Young, full of promise 
and precocious talent, with a brilliant career assured by the quality of his earliest 
work, the lad of some sixteen years became the familiar acquaintance of men 
whose names belong to a waning generation. Mr. Marcus Stone is still a young 
man, but if he should live to eighty years he will be a link between two 
worlds of thought and art. He has seen Turner ; he was the intimate young 
companion of Charles Dickens's later years ; he knew the father of Edwin Landseer, 




MARCUS STONE, ll.A. 123 

whose birth dates back to the middle of the last century ; he knew Mulready, Lytton, 
Maclise, Albert Smith, Stanfield, Douglas Jerrold, Augustus Egg, and Thackeray. 
These men did not live so long ago that it is extraordinary to have known them, 
but it is extraordinary now to find one of their friends in the flower of his age. 
There is always, and there will always be, an artistic and literary society in London, 
but to the little knot of writers and painters of that time belongs a character of its 
own. Manners were simpler ; club-life, as we now know it, was not yet instituted. 
The old style is all described in Thackeray's works ; and the change of manners has 
been very rapid since he wrote. To belong, in his freshness, to both periods 
the past and the present has been the good fortune of Mr. Marcus Stone. 

Born in 1840, the child was an artist by intuition before he was four years 
old. One of his first feats was the decoration in pencil of a chimney-piece 
an attempt which was volunteered, and was not received with much favour. His 
father, however, in ordering the child's handiwork to be effaced, directed that one 
figure should be left, because it showed precocious talent. This precocity marked 
all the juvenile efforts of Marcus Stone, and must doubtless be taken as an 
element in estimating the success which attended the exhibition of his early 
works. The boy never at any time contemplated the possibility of any other 
career for his future life than that of art ; but, in spite of this invariable resolution, 
he received no actual training in his first years. That he passed through no regular 
studentship is, however, more than compensated by the fact that he has always 
been a student ; and if at the date of his boyhood a thorough artistic training 
was not considered to be of very insistent necessity, he lived to work in a time 
which rates science and discipline at a truer value. At the age of thirteen the 
young aspirant had made so good an attempt at illustration as to call forth the 
following note from Charles Dickens, dated from Tavistock House on the 19th 
of December, 1853: "My dear Marcus, You made an excellent sketch for a 
book of mine, which I have received (and have preserved) with great pleasure. 
Will you accept from me, in remembrance of it, this little book? I believe it to 
be true, but it may be sometimes not as genteel as history has sometimes a habit of 
being. Faithfully yours, CHARLES DICKENS." The book so gracefully offered to a 
child was the " Child's History of England," which the novelist found time to write 
for his own children about this time, and which, the world has generally agreed 
since then, he would have done better to leave alone. 

Mr. Marcus Stone was only seventeen when he exhibited his first picture at 
the Royal Academy. The second, entitled " Silent Pleading," created a small 
sensation in the following year. It represented a tramp, with a child wrapped up 
in his cloak, asleep in a shed on a snowy night; while the squire and the police, 
who have tracked the man, for some small depredation, to his resting-place, stand 
irresolutely, doubtful whether to put on the handcuffs, or let the poor outcast sleep 
in peace. The subject was somewhat after the style of Dickens, who himself 
refers to the work in terms of full sympathy. 



] 2 4 THE MODERN SCHOOL OF ART. 

A crisis had now arrived in the life of the young artist. He was only nine- 
teen, when, owing to his father's sudden death from heart-disease, on him devolved 
the duty of turning his talents to the hest and most profitable account. Under 
these circumstances he found it desirable to increase his field of labour by the 
addition of book-illustration to oil-painting. Charles Dickens gave him warm 
sympathy in his courageous efforts, and helped him by a number of characteristic 
letters to such publishers as could give the young artist employment. ' My dear 
Longman," wrote the novelist from Tavistock House, on the 28th of November, 
1859, "I am very anxious to present to you, with the earnest hope that you 
will hold him in your remembrance, young Mr. Marcus Stone, son of poor Frank 
Stone, who died suddenly but a little week ago. You know, I dare say, what 
a start this young man made in the last exhibition, and what favourable notice 
his picture attracted. He wishes to make an additional opening for himself in the 
illustration of books. He is an admirable draughtsman has a most dexterous 
hand, a charming sense of grace and beauty, and a capital power of observation. 
These qualities in him I know well of my own knowledge. He is in all things 
modest, punctual, and right ; and I would answer for him, if it were needful, with 
my head. If you will put anything in his way, you will do it a second time I 
am certain. Faithfully yours always, CHAELES DICKENS." 

That nothing came, at the time, of this impulsive appeal was not certainly 
due to any lack of affectionate urgency in the request. The fact was rather 
that the artist, generally so brilliantly successful, was immature at the work of 
drawing on wood; for even a year or two later, when Dickens himself entrusted 
him with the illustrations to the monthly parts of "Our Mutual Friend," to a 
new edition of the "Child's History of England," and to the completed reprint 
of "Great Expectations," Marcus Stone's efforts showed the timidity of an unac- 
customed hand. What he did was always intelligent, and the drawings for " Our 
Mutual Friend " especially show no lack of capacity and promise ; but it was not 
until 1869, whan he illustrated Anthony Trollope's "He Knew he was Eight," 
that he began to do himself better justice as a designer on wood. Some years 
later still a story in the Cornlvill Magazine, " Young Brown," was accompanied 
by drawings from Mr. Marcus Stone's pencil which are of rare excellence. 

But his career is essentially the career of an oil-painter ; and in his own 
art he has never relaxed his efforts after progress, all his studies being slow and 
laborious experiences and experiments, in which he has gradually mastered the 
lessons of his art ; but every step has been cheered by unfailing public favour. 
Two years after "Silent Pleading" he painted the "Fainting of Hero," which 
won, among other praises, the precious good opinion of Frederick Leighton, who 
went up to the young artist at the Academy on varnishing-day, and claimed 
acquaintance with him on the ground of the promise of his picture. Again two 
years later, in 18G3, a more marked sensation was made by a serious work of 
historical interest, " From Waterloo to Paris," a picture suggested by Berauger's 



MARCUS STONE, R.A. 



125 



' Souvenir du Peuple." It was in 1872 that Mr. Stone painted his admirable 
" Edward II. and Piers Gaveston." The confidential impertinence of the light- 



I 




minded young king and his favourite, and the indignant disgust of the old courtiers 
whom they are quizzing, are rendered with spirit and entrain. 



12 6 THE MODERN SCHOOL OF ART. 

But all this invariable, legitimate, and now and then brilliant success has never 
made Mr. Marcus Stone forget his duties of self-improvement, has never made 
him repose in self-confidence, has never induced him to facilitate his labour and 
cheapen his effectiveness by mannerism. Oliver Wendell Holmes says somewhere 
that only a fool is consistent, and Mr. Marcus Stone has proved his possession 
of such wisdom as consists in a frank change of method. As he grew to riper 
years he began to believe that his first " manner " had been little more than the 
precocious following of those among whom he lived. Travel opened his eyes to 
other methods, other theories, to whole schools of modern painting from which 
England has generally held aloof. French contemporary work, and indeed all the 
best Continental work, greatly impressed him so greatly, indeed, that his own art 
was visibly influenced. He fell under the powerful charm of the savoir-faire of 
French painters, and emulated the workmanlike daring quality and the masterly 
felicities of their school. From his delight in style he then went farther, and 
penetrated into the science of his art. He gave himself to a thorough study of per- 
spective, of composition, of relations, and of all learned excellences. 

From this very careful self-discipline Mr. Marcus Stone's work has shown of late 
years a completeness not common in this country. He compasses what he intends 
with a thoroughness of fulfilment which is the result of no small science. As a 
colourist he is tasteful rather than great. Lately he has also preferred extreme 
grace and prettiness of subject, with figures in repose and garden accessories, to 
any form of action or emotion. That he is able to give dramatic expression to the 
passions with no little living energy was proved by a picture exhibited by him at the 
Royal Academy several years ago, which gave a vivid scene of French peasant life, 
full of movement and of pathos. It is the moment of a soldier's return, after the 
woes of a conscription and the perils of a campaign, to his little rustic home. He 
runs in a delirium of joy to the bed and the arms of the pale young mother, at whose 
side rests the newly-filled cradle. The execution of this picture is even more unlike 
Mr. Marcus Stone's present manner than is the subject different from his present 
choice. As he now eschews emotion, so does he also those types of character which 
are not compatible with smooth beauty. In one important matter his respect 
for the legitimate in art calls for special notice ; the subjects of his pictures are 
always within the right pictorial scope, within the province of a painted scene. 
Even when they aim at telling a story, or only at illustrating an historical in- 
cident, they contain their own explanation, and complete themselves. Marcus Stone 
does not disdain all help from a catalogue title, but he expresses himself in his 
pictures in such a manner as to render title unessential. They can all be read, in 
themselves, without outside aid, more or less of intelligence being supposed in the 
spectator. His meaning is not allowed to overflow the canvas, as it were, in a 
manner very commonly practised by painters of pictures with a story to tell. In 
the work already alluded to, "Edward II. and Piers Gaveston," for instance, the 
situation is so expressively rendered, and the accessories are so accurate, that a 



MARCUS STONE, R.A. 



127 



person of very great intelligence and familiarity with history might prohably name 
the characters of the composition ; at any rate, nobody could fail to see that a 
young king and a young favourite were amusing themselves at the expense of a 
highly-disgusted group of court grandees ; this is the scope and intention of the 
picture. The painter helps us to the exact incident by means of his title, but 
does not allow the interest of his scene to depend upon it. 

Precisely the same may be said for another incident-picture of his, in which 
he shows us King Henry VIII. rejoicing over his only son, the infant Edward, while 
the little Princess Elizabeth, neglected and disregarded as being "only a girl," 
stands wistfully by. The situation is as old as human nature and the laws of 
inheritance ; and, as a fact, in this case the artist had intended at first to paint 
the group as an illustration to 



" Dombey and Son," but afterwards 
changed his mind and gave it the 
historical interest. 

In 1877 the Royal Academy, 
to which he had contributed un- 
brokenly for twenty - two years, 
elected him Associate, an honour 
which was followed, as it was pre- 
ceded, by constant and successful 
work. Ten years later came the 
election which made him a full 
member, his most formidable com- 
petitor being Mr. Fildes, who followed him into the ranks of the Academicians 
within a few weeks. One of Mr. Stone's earlier works after his first honours was 
a contribution to an exhibition altogether characteristic of the time the collection 
of " Types of Beauty " shown by the Fine Art Society in Bond Street. As though 
beautiful faces had not throughout the world's history had their full meed of power 
and prestige, London made a sudden discovery of the value of feminine loveliness, as 
it had made a few years before the discovery of rinking, and the popularity of 
" beauty women " suggested an exhibition of the ideals of artists. "Rejected" is an 
interior of the time of our great-grandmothers, with the modifications of Mr. Marcus 
Stone's taste in the costumes. A very lovely maiden in white, with an empire 
dress and a Sir Joshua hat, is turning away very gently from an unsuccessful aspirant. 
As she slowly lifts the portiere to leave the room, he hangs his head over the fireplace. 
There is just a Little too much emphasis on the situation in the manner in which 
the two figures turn their backs straight upon one another. But Mr. Stone frequently 
shows a fear, which we hope does injustice to the general intelligence, that he may 
be misunderstood unless he puts on plenty of accent. But the picture is extremely 
pleasing on account of the elegant feminine figure, which is a protest against the 
long and slender waists of more modern times. This resolute but gentle-hearted 




MAUHIED FOB LOVE. 



128 



TEE MODERN SCHOOL OF ART. 



1 



damsel became such a favourite with her painter that she reappears in many and 
many a subsequent picture. She is much the same as the young aristocrate who 
kneels at the feet of the Eevolutionist official in "An Appeal for Mercy, 1793," only 
that she is without the hat, which has fallen off. The man in whose hands is the 

fate of husband or father has 
risen abruptly, leaving her sink- 
ing forward upon his chair, 
where she has just clasped his 
knees. He looks closely at the 
paper, and she watches him 
intently ; a red-capped ruffian 
sits sprawling at a table hard 
by. Again, in " Sacrifice " she 
stands, in a hat again, with 
the long, straight lines of her 
dress longer than ever, and a 
fichu more than ever pictur- 
esquely disposed across her 
graceful shoulders. She is in 
pink this time, and she turns 
to do the bidding of father and 
mother by burning a love-letter. 
They are sorry for her, but 
quite inflexible, and she makes 
no show of emotion. A white 
cat is pruning its clean coat 
on a chair. In the same Aca- 
demy appeared "Waiting at the 
Gate," the empire lady with her 
hand on a latch in the midst 
of flowers. In 1878 Mr. Marcus 
Stone was even unusually bril- 
liant and industrious, exhibiting 
four pictures. " The Post-Bag" 
is a garden scene, with a great 
deal of space to let. At the 

further end of a terrace sit two men, father and suitor, we may suppose, to the lovely 
maiden who has walked away alone with her back to them, to read her letter. The 
perspective is most skilfully treated. "The Time of Eoses " shows love in happier 
conditions ; the lady is not standing alone, for her hand has been caught over the 
garden paling by the handsome heir of the neighbouring domain. A rose herself, 
she stands shyly with her basket full of roses, and a rose-bush in full-flower at 




A TYPE OF BEAUTY. 



(By Permission of the Proprietors of the "Graphic.'") 



MAHCUS STONE, R.A. 



lier side. With this were the "Fruit-seller," a picturesque young woman sitting 
rather sadly over a basket of apples, and a " Head of a Girl." Next year followed 
" In the Shade," a lady sitting by herself in the shadowed part of a wide garden 
while others are strolling in the sunshine ; " Summer-time ; " and " Discord." 

The ever-fruitful " Vicar of Wakefield " gave Mr. Stone one subject for the 
following Academy, where he was represented by " Olivia and Dick Primrose," 
the eldest daughter of the good vicar, with the rather stately and dignified beauty 
which belongs to her, walking through the 
country lanes with her little brother at her 
side ; while for his second picture he reverted 
to the equally well-used French Revolution or 
First Empire. A lady, whose heart is, with 
her traditions and her faith, in the old Regime, 
gives back letters and presents to a young 
office^if the army of the new order. Of the 
two, she looks, as is natural to the steadfast 
female character, by far the most inflexible. 
If the love-story is not to be broken off for 
ever, that young soldier of the Democracy must 
doff that broadside-on cocked hat and give up 
the campaigns of Napoleon. On no other terms 
will the beautiful face, now averted, be turned 
upon him in grace and favour again. " Mar- 
ried for Love " is a still more delicate and 
charming picture. Within a kind of terraced 
alcove, set round with flower-pots, and sur- 
rounded by the brick walls of a last- century 
garden, sits the lonely head of a disunited family. 
His regrets will be more suddenly consoled 
than he thinks, for the dismissed and disinherited son is watching him timorously, 
drawing nearer and nearer across the lawn with his wife's hand in his, doubtful, but 
eager to be forgiven. She, even in this all-important moment, sees nothing better 
to study in the world than the face of the baby whose head is on her arm. It is 
again a garden that is the scene of action in "II y en a toujours un autre ; " but 
these are the grounds of a dilapidated estate, much in need of the wealth of 
the neighbouring squire, whof is wooing the daughter of the straitened house 
on a garden seat at the top of a flight of terrace steps. The damsel's thoughts, 
however, are far away; the eyes under her huge hat are wandering to the distance, 
the suitor at her ear has not a chance. Red geraniums are in flower, autumn leaves 
are drifting, and a glow of sunset gently illumines the figures and the beautiful 
white of a cat that sits upon the steps. This picture was bought by the Royal 
Academy under the Chantrey Bequest Fund. " Bad News " takes us farther back 

46 







"AMOUR ou PATIUE." 



130 THE MODERN SCHOOL OF ART. 

in costume. A lady of the time of the Civil Wars in England has just received a 
letter from her Cavalier husband away with the King. It falls at her feet while 
she raises one hand distractedly to her head and reaches out the other to steady 
her failing strength. The action is somewhat lacking in truth and originality. Two 
other pictures exhibited at the same time were " The Foundling " and the portrait 
of Miss Frances Sterling, a child seated, with brilliant hair and a white kitten. 
"An Offer of Marriage" again takes up the times of short waists and brick- walled 
gardens, with classic temples artfully composed among the traes. At a table set 
with coffee sits the squire reading a letter just handed to him by the daughter, 
who stands by with more irresolution in her charming face than bodes well for the 
writer. This tall, upright picture was one of the first in the first room at Burlington 
House, and took the place of its predecessor of the year before. Again, in the 
same interesting corner, which catches eyes all untired, was the " Gambler's Wife " 
of 1885. The lady sits, in a huge red hat, on a seat that encircles the trunk of 
an ancestral tree set in a smooth green lawn. In the distance steps lead to the 
right to the fa$ade of a stately house ; in the middle distance is a sun-dial ; and 
beyond, al fresco, is the fatal table at which lawns and timber and house and 
lands are being played away. The gambler and his friends are intent on their 
game ; the lady has her back to them and her face to the spectator, as she lets 
her work fall about her feet and clasps her hands in foreboding thought. Her pretty 
children are coming towards her. The picture is very completely and tenderly 
painted throughout. It was the artist's only Academy work of that year, and in 
1886, also, he sent but one "A Peace-maker" when the Hanging Committee 
moved him away from his nook. 

In Paris, at the International of 1878, Mr. Marcus Stone was represented by 
the " Kejected," which we have already described, and " My Lady is a Widow and 
Childless." This really pathetic picture shows a lonely chatelaine, in her black, 
walking under the trees of her domain ; on the other side of a fence a workman 
meets his wife and child, and tosses the little one in the gladness of his heart. 
This is a far more serious subject than the little sentimental motives this painter 
treats so prettily. 

Mr. Marcus Stone is one of the Melbury Eoad group, occupying a very original, 
tall-windowed, red-brick house, facing the home built with so much thought and 
pleasure, for so short an occupation, by the late Mr. Burges. He has to the north 
an excellent studio, and every room in the house is fit background for one of his 
own pictures. 

It only remains to add, that early in the year 1886 Mr. Stone received the 
full honours of a Eoyal Academician. 




H a 

CO .0 

H S 



5 * 

Q S 



H 

H 




(From Hie Portrait by Himself.} 



GEORGE FREDERICK WATTS, R.A. 

|R. WATTS is one of the few modern artists who from the beginning 
of their career to the present time have been consistent in their aims. 
The wave of Pre-Raphaelitism, and the succeeding waves of neo-medi- 
ffivalism, aestheticism, and realism, have passed over his head and left 
him unchanged and unmoved. He started with a distinct inner impulse 
an artistic conscience of his own ; and though no one has shown himself 
more widely sensitive to the spirit of the noblest schools of all time, he has permitted 
nothing to impair his individuality. In allegory or portrait, tiny sketch or colossal 
fresco, the expression of essential truth has been his one purpose. Idealism based 
upon thorough knowledge of material facts is the characteristic of all his work 
The time that he spent in studying sculpture under Mr. Belmes has borne fruit 
not only in some fine plastic works, but in all his pictures : very notably indeed 




13 2 THE MODERN SCHOOL OF ART. 

in the fine structural quality and accurate modelling of his portraits. He has always 
been devoted to the loftiest art. His earliest successes were achieved with vast 
historical cartoons which won prizes in the competitions (1843 and 1847) for the 
decoration of the Houses of Parliament. Evidence of his zeal in the cause of great 
art and his sense of its value in national education is found in his nohle offer to 
cover the great hall of Euston station with mural paintings without remunera- 
tion. His large fresco of the History of Justice in the hall of Lincoln's Inn was 
the result of a similar proposal to the Honourable Society, who not only accepted 
it in the spirit in which it was made, but proved their admiration of the work by 
a present of 500 and a cup. 

Mr. Watts has been the leader of the reformation of portrait-art in England ; 
he gave it a fresh inspiration and a new point of departure. No one could have 
done this effectually without distinct and original aims pursued with persistence 
through many years. It was more difficult perhaps to be original in this, the 
oldest branch of art, than in any other. A man of ordinary ability can be little 
but a distant follower of the great artists of the English school, to say nothing 
of the old masters Raphael and Titian, Holbein and Van Dyck, Eembrandt and 
Hals. But Mr. Watts is not a man of ordinary ability, and he struck out a path 
for himself which, though not perhaps new, had been little trodden, and which 
soon led him far beyond the bounds of conventional art. We say it was not quite 
new, because all artists of all times have endeavoured to express the minds of 
their sitters. Few, however, if any, have pursued it so singly, so persistently, 
and so successfully as Watts. The special aim of his art has been to make the 
face the window of the mind. Other artists have drawn men and women more 
bravely in society, but none has painted them more completely as at home at 
home, not physically, but mentally ; and not only at home, but alone. 

It cannot be doubted that this strict adherence to his high intention has been 
attended by no small sacrifice of his natural pride in technical skill perhaps the 
greatest sacrifice that a painter can make. He seldom paints more than a half- 
length ; he frequently conceals the hands, and this, not from any want of power, 
but from the desire to concentrate attention on the face, while the face itself is 
painted so as not to call attention to the skill of the execution, and, when freshly 
done, his surfaces have a somewhat roiigh and crude appearance, as of fresco. Like 
the author of a play, he is not on the stage ; he is only called for when the play 
has been enjoyed. How great and consistent a sacrifice his practice must involve 
is shown best by almost the only example amongst his portraits in which he has 
put forth all his painter's power to charm the eye with glory of colour and rhythmic 
stateliness of line. In his portraiture of the Hon. Mrs. Percy Wyndham he has 
employed every resource of his art to express, not only character, but physical 
charm. The scale of colour is not brilliant, but it is rich exceedingly; the dead 
red of the vase, and the brown and green and cream of its magnolias, are not in 
more perfect harmony with the rich dress and clear pale complexion than their 



OKOROE 



\\.\TTS, 



133 



grand rounded forms with the nohle graces of the beautiful figure. Of itself this 
superb achievement is enough to show that it is not because the painter could not 
have rivalled other masters on their peculiar ground that he has chosen to keep 
to his own. His portrait of Mrs. Frederick Myers, which we have engraved, is 
more in his wonted manner. It is a characteristic specimen of his capacity to 
render not only outward visible 
form, but the inward beauty of the 
spirit also. 

It is, however, in his present- 
ments of public characters that he 
has attained his greatest distinction 
both as a man and an artist. It is 
in these that his special faculty has 
found its fullest scope. There is 
not one that does not testify to his 
unrivalled power of mental diagnosis, 
not one that does not stamp him as 
a leader amidst the intellectual forces 
as well as amidst the painters of his 
generation. His collective achieve- 
ment is a most vivid and enduring 
record of the number and variety of 
noble minds which have been at 
work in England during the last 
quarter of a century. It is not only 
wonderful in itself ; it is not only 
rarely and loftily beautiful ; it is in 
the truest sense national ; it demands 
not only the admiration of the critic, 
but the gratitude of the citizen. We 

doubt if public money could be more properly or patriotically spent than in 
securing replicas of every item in the sum for the National Portrait Gallery. 

It is evident that a man who can paint such portraits is not only an artist 
but a poet. It is probably not entirely from inclination that Mr. Watts has 
devoted comparatively little time to purely poetic art, of which he has given us 
specimens of noble originality and of so rare a quality that there are few great 
artists of any time to whom he has not been compared by writers in England 
and on the Continent. For all that, in his creative, as in his portrait art, he remains 
himself ; he is as individual as he is versatile, and brings the same serious and 
imaginative intelligence to bear upon his work, whether it be the presentment of 
a poet's face or the embodiment of some one of his dreams. That his genius as 
an artist in imagination is not duly recognised is sufficiently proved by the fact 




PORTRAIT OF MRS. FREDERICK MYEltS. 



THE MODERN SCHOOL OF ART. 



that one of the noblest imaginings ever paintedhis "Paolo and Francesca " -still 
remains in his own possession. This is no douht partly from the insensibility of 
the British public to any but the most commonplace sentiment in art, partly 
because of a reluctance to believe that one man can excel in more than one 




1-OllTRAIT OF THOMAS CAHLYLB. 



thing. At the same time it must be confessed that of epic work he has finished 
but little, and that he has too frequently exhibited designs which, however 
suggestive of power and loftiness of purpose, were likely to be neglected in the 
presence of his fully-wrought portraits. 

A student of the dead rather than a rival of the living, above all is he indebted 



GEORGE FREDERICK WATTS, R.A. 135 

to the Greeks. Classic legend it is that has supplied him with the subjects of per- 
haps his most perfect pictures. In his "Daphne" he lias not chosen to give us 
any incident of the beautiful old myth not the flight from the god-like lover, not 
the supplication nor the blossoming. The figure of the hapless nymph naked and 
chaste and pale, against an exquisitely drawn and composed background of laurel 
is an allegory ; of sylvan purity, it may be ; in any case, of beauty. His splendid 
" Wife of Pygmalion," a veritable " translation from the Greek," and his most 
excellent design of the " Three Goddesses," naked and unashamed, wearing that 
air of divine dignity which was not re-born at the Renaissance, might almost be 
described as art before the Fall. There is more of modern sentiment in his sweet, 
shrinking figure of " Psyche ; " and it is the art of Venice rather than of Athens of 
which we are reminded in his lovely vision of " Endymion," which we have engraved. 
The painter's tendency to express his ideas of the mysteries of life in allegorical 
design though seldom shown till recent years must have commenced early, if we 
may rightly presume that his notable composition of " Life's Illusions " (exhibited 
in 1849) was not its first result. Considered either as a piece of flesh-painting or 
an achievement in design, this glorious vision of illusive beauty, rising and curling 
and vanishing like vapour, has not many rivals in modern art. The rest of the 
allegory is a little obvious as young men's allegories are wont to be. Mr. Watts's 
next ambitious work of the kind is the grandly decorative " Allegory of Time and 
Oblivion." It would seem to be the artist's earliest presentment of his original 
and lofty idea of Time not as our withered white-haired enemy with the forelock, 
but, in his own words, " as the type of stalwart manhood and imperishable youth." 
The idea is repeated in his " Time, Death, and Judgment." For Death, too, he 
has invented a new image : as of a great Woman, white-robed and of ghastly com- 
plexion, with hollow cheeks and sunken eyes. The two irresistible figures of Time 
and Death speed on together, rolling a globe of azure at their feet. He grasps 
his scythe, and from his vigorous brows the flame-like hair stands erect ; she droops 
aside as she advances, and from- her folded mantle gathered flowers are falling. 
Close behind, in mid-air, with hidden face and action of tremendous swiftness, 
comes Judgment ; a sword is held in one hand, the balances aloft in the other. 
The whole group seems to pass onwards like a vision. Another, and perhaps the 
finest, of these great allegories is the famous " Death and Love," in which also 
there is an invincible and irresistible advance. It is the door of a human dwell- 
ing, and Love, a tender boy, with the colours of the iris in his wings, is trying 
to protect it. But the coming of Death a massive male D^ath this has crushed 
him against the thorns of the growing roses and broken his brilliant pinions. He 
puts up his arms to ward off the power that conies against him, but the slow 
impetus of Death is felt to be so enormous, so weighty, that there is not an 
instant of delay. The expression of Love's face is keenly pathetic ; the face of 
Death is a mystery to us a mystery just revealed to Love, upon whom it is 
turned. The allegory is absolutely simple and intelligible, and profoundly impressive. 



136 



THE MODERN SCHOOL OF AliT. 



The artist has repeated it several times, and in none of the repetitions has it 
seemed to us so wonderful as in a replica which was just blocked out in mono- 
chrome ; here the initial impulse of thought was felt to strike immediately from 
the artist's conception on the spectator's mind. 

Another of the chief allegories is " The Angel of Death," in which Death is 

again a woman a woman 
and, this time, an angel 
too. Female angels never 
appeared in art until the 
depths of the Italian de- 
cadence ; but Mr. Watts's 
conception is by no 
means one of a decadent 
art. It is singularly noble 
and serious. She sits, a 
benignant and maternal 
but most solemn figure, 
on her mysterious throne, 
to which the types of 
all mankind are render- 
ing a willing submission. 
No one is coming reluct- 
antly or with loth heart. 
The king is rendering up 
his crown, the warrior 
his sword, the beggar his 
crutches. A young and 
tender woman is laying 
down her head on the 
knees of Death, wearied 
out ; a child, born dead, 
is at the knees of that 
universal Mother. It is 




PAOLO AND KllANCESCA. 



a scene of awful but all- 
conquering peace. Next to this great design comes a less easily explicable conception 
" To all the Churches." Here the central figure, throned on clouds, seems to bear 
a resemblance to our Saviour but a likeness generalised in such a manner that the 
face is apparently intended to symbolise Christianity rather than to represent Christ. 
One hand is held towards the heart, the other open and beckoning in invitation. 
Grouped at the feet, sheltered by the ample draperies which flow about the knees, 
are naked children. In the distance the clouds of the background are touched with 
light. More beautiful and simple in thought is the exquisite " Love and Life," 



<!!:<> mi i: /'///:/'/;/;/( 'A 11 IVVN, /;..i. 137 

painted somewhat later. Love is presented as a strong but slender adolescent, 
newly lighted near the summit of a mountain. He comes to meet and rescue Life, 
a young maiden, whose feet are worn with the long journey to the mountain top. 
The two are almost at the end of labour. Both the young figures are nude and 




UIAXA AND ESDYMHIN. 



spiritual, and most exquisite in line and expression. The colours are, throughout 
the picture, yellow and blue, colours representing respectively light and space, as, in 
Mr. Watts's scheme, red represents earthly life. 

In a far smaller manner of allegory is the comparatively trivial picture, " When 
Poverty comes in at the door, Love flies out at the window," in which the grim 
visitor is an old man shivering at the entrance to a cottage, within which a woman 
reclines, just deserted by the flying Love, who wings his way into the air. And on 
a far lower plane again unique, probably among this painter's creations is a large 



138 THE MODERN SCHOOL OF ART. 

canvas which was probably a surprise to his admirers as containing his first pictorial 
freak. In this Mr. Watts takes us to prehistoric times, and shows us the experiment 
made by the first mortal who ever tasted an oyster. A boy is the taster. Seated 
on the sea-shore, in the nudity of that remote day, he holds the empty shell, and 
seems to follow with dubious introspection the passage of the cold mollusc he has 
swallowed. Keen, sympathetic interest and interrogation are shown in the face of 
a girl at his side. It is the little joke of a great painter. 

Mr. Watts works all the year round, in complete disregard of " sending-in days" 
and the displays of May. The exhibitions contrive to get something from his easel, 
but that is yielded with a certain reluctance, for Mr. Watts has no love for the 
present system of working for yearly display and yearly sale. Moreover, his work 
really suffers in effect from the neighbourhood of modern pictures, with their modern 
surface and aggressive colour. All the work of the day is equally inharmonious with 
his. The real brilliance of true science in light and colour, the attempted brilliance 
of a merely " noisy " palette, subjects of modern genre, of costume, and of landscape- 
all are equally unlike Mr. Watts's works, and by contrast increase its peculiarities of 
surface, its frequent grimy tones and harsh texture. The repose and space by 
which pictures are surrounded at the Grosvenor makes this contrast much less painful 
than it is at the Academy. But this master's pictures should be seen in their own 
company. They were so seen and a noble life-work they showed when they 
formed one of the winter collections at the Grosvenor Gallery. And within the 
last few years Mr. Watts has himself built a gallery adjoining his own house Little 
Holland House, in Melbury Road where the fruit of his great career may be studied 
by the public free of cost and without formalities. The bulk of the work has re- 
mained in the painter's possession, but in the cases of the most important pictures 
which have been sold replicas have been made, and the collection is almost complete 
certainly a completely representative one. Here may be seen visions in art even 
grander and less reducible to the formula of words than those we have named above. 
It has sometimes seemed to us that a very great and intellectual painter might 
think in painting as all the rest of mankind think in words. The idea of such a 
process is difficult to conceive, but it is just conceivable ; and it seems less difficult 
when we stand, in Mr. Watts's gallery, in face of a great design of the Creation of 
worlds and wills, which shows vast human figures with Titanic limbs rising from 
rest on mountains that roll out of cloud. And thought seems to be expressed in 
colour where Mr. Watts has recorded a vision of " The Spirit of God moving over 
the Face of the Waters;" the gold of the light and the blue of the space are full 
of utterance and expression. 

A vision of a water-nymph is also in misty gold and azure. Then there is a 
more human picture, showing the fainting head of a dying young warrior, whose 
last memory is of the face of a woman. That gentle face, with deep, pathetic eyes 
lowered over him in pity and love, the painter shows us above the beautiful young 
brows of the mailed lover. From this we may turn to the " Orpheus and Eurydice," 




TIME. DEATH. AND JUDGMENT. 



MO 



THE MODERN SCHOOL OF ART. 



which presents the moment in which all is lost for the sake of the kiss of husband 
and all-but-recovered wife. She has followed him from the shadow of death to the 
very boundary of life. The little stream was all but passed, when her voice has 
struck on his impatient heart. One more heart-beat and all was gained; but all 

is lost. Orpheus has turned, only to 
clasp the figure of a woman who is not 
only dead, but spent, gone, faded, fallen 
away. The all- conquering lyre, fallen 
from his hand, the lily dropped by hers, 
have not had time to reach the ground, 
but Eurydice has slipped back irrevocably 
and for ever into the land of shadows. 
All seems to be acted in the compre- 
hensive moment of the artist. And 
near by is a tragedy of another kind- 
tragedy of living and dying London, not 
of the Greece of dreams. A woman, 
with her face wearing the look of death, 
crouches for her night's lodging under 
the arches of a bridge. Or it is the 
study of a child that catches our eye 
a mere ordinary little girl of some four- 
teen years, with little beauty in her 
cabbage-rose cheeks and soft, straight 
hair, but with a look of goodness in 
her face that had taken the painter's 
sympathetic fancy. Her sweet little 
commonplace profile hangs near to the 
head of Mr. Swinburne, with its great 
forehead and wild, red locks ; near, 
also, to the solemn face of John Stuart 
Mill, to the spiritual and worn beauty 
of Cardinal Manning's head, to the 
powerful but earthly force of Browning's, 
and to the mere physical charm and 

distinction of a chance Italian model's profile. Merely as a gallery of contemporary 
portraits, the collection is of infinite interest. 

And with the portraits are a few heroic landscapes a tract of country, above 
which rises a monumental cloud ; the lovely line of the Carrara mountains seen 
from the top of the Leaning Tower at Pisa; a group of the islands of the Greek 
Archipelago. 

Of Mr. Watts's future work it is hard to prophesy. Of dreams and designs 




TO ALL THE CHUKCIIE8 : A SYMBOLICAL DESIGN. 



GEORGE FREDERICK WATTS, R.A. HI 

already sketched out there are enough to employ him for many years. It is earnestly 
to he hoped that some, especially the " Three Goddesses," will receive more perfect 
realisation. Among them are many inspired by Scripture : as, for instance, the 
grand and gloomy Esau, and that most tremendous vision of the wrath of heaven 
descending upon Cain, balanced by the grand and tender scene of Cain's death, 
where the murderer, having borne the intolerable burden for a patriarchal lifetime, 
is shown drooping upon the bramble-grown altar of his brother's sacrifice, while an 
angel descends and sweeps and lifts away the cloud of condemnation. The two 
projected series of the " Fall of Man " and the " Life of Eve " are full of fine promise, 
and the scenes from Revelation are quick with germs of greatness. Meanwhile, to 
whatever work Mr. Watts may turn his hand, we may be sure that nothing small 
or ignoble will ever come from under it. Certainly neither of these epithets can 
be applied to the " Britomart," the subject of our full-page engraving. The " Mid- 
day Best," again, is not of a kind that one would have expected from Mr. Watts; 
but, with its frank and semi-heroic realism, it expresses an intention quite characteristic 
and quite worthy of the artist that of the preservation of faithful images of grand 
and unique types both of man and horse, which he thinks may ere long be refined 
away. To this end has he painted to the life his brawny, herculean drayman, 
leaning against his shafts and sleepily casting grain to the pigeons, while his grand, 
docile brutes stand patient and still. The painter, as may be seen in many of his 
pictures, has studied animals with great care and to admirable purpose ; but there 
is still reason for surprise at the splendid modelling and grand drawing of these 
magnificent horses. The same sense of fitness which characterises ah 1 his work is 
evident in the background of broad horse-chestnut leaves and red brick wall, in 
harmony with the grandiose simplicity of the whole design. 

The earlier stages of Mr. W T atts's career were remarkable for two peculiarities. 
One was that he made his first appearance in a kind of incognita, which was not 
destined to last. These days are not favourable to the hiding or veiling of 
personality ; and Mr. Watts was quickly induced to declare himself in the " Mr. 
George " of his early pictures. Years later came his election to the full membership 
of the Royal Academy without the noviciate of the Associateship. 

It is in the garden at the back of the gallery that Mr. Watts has worked at his 
gigantic sculpture the equestrian statue of Hugh Lupus. In this art he was 
first known to the world by the " Clytie," an heroic head and bust, with the head 
turned yearningly backwards, and the great muscles of the neck and shoulders brought 
into strong action. And his own studio is on the left a plain working room, full 
of suggestions, beginnings, first thoughts of works which may well take time in the 
thinking-out. It is, we believe, no secret that Mr. Watts intends to leave to the 
nation all his works brought together in his gallery. England will then be in 
possession of the greatest art-work yet achieved we say this advisedly by any one 
of her sons. Meanwhile he has taken the step wholly characteristic of himself 
of putting his most representative work more immediately before the public notice, 




BR1TOMART AND HER NURSE. 



OEORGE FREDERICK WATTS, R.A. 143 

with the view of hastening the gift which he intends, should a strong interest be 
expressed in it. For this end a little collection was placed in the South Kensington 
Museum. And as Mr. Watts had been again and again before the public that 
attends the Royal Academy and the Grosvenor, it is plain that he wished now to 
test a wider feeling, and to appeal, as nearly as any painter may do in our time 
and country, to the people. We say to test the people's feeling ; but his own 
attitude was the most modest one of testing his own art : Was that art such as 
would touch the universal heart, the general thought? Had it an ideal and a 
humanity which would appear to the untaught and stir the human feeling, which 
underlies, as it transcends, all art? Such a question might well be asked by a 
tentative painter, whose own thoughts may be fairly vague to himself, and whose 
work has cost him little. But in the case of Mr. Watts, whose art is the mature 
and grave expression of a noble intellect, and the fruit of long labours of mind and 
hand, the appeal implies more than modesty a rare humility. It is as though a 
Coriolanus stood in the market-place suing for the plebeian voices, and showing 
the wounds of a great career, not with the scorn of Volumnia's son, but with a 
serious respect for the men and won.en at whose sympathies he aimed. No merely 
proud or merely ambitious mind could take a position so sincere, and at once so 
lofty and so self-effacing. Free from pride, our great English painter has shown 
himself free also from that smaller weakness of vanity which affects even the largest 
minds. Mr. Watts has refused the official honours offered to him (the baronetcy 
proffered at the same time as Sir John Millais'), and of popular contemporary honours 
he has had little enough. It can hardly be doubted that the future will give his 
memory the meed of an educated admiration and a gratitude oftener awarded to 
the memory than to the man. 





(From a Photograpli by Messrs. Elliott and Fry.") 



WILLIAM POWELL FRITH, R.A. 

tell the tale shortly of a long life-journey, early stages cannot be dwelt 
on when, as in this case, midway and onward the road is crowded with 
points of interest, constituting the landmarks of the professional career. 
Hence, having said that Mr. Frith was born at Studley Koyal in 1819, 
that he received his earliest art education at the establishment (immortalised 
by Thackeray) of Mr. Sass, of Bloomsbury, entered as a student at the Royal 
Academy in 1837, and exhibited his first picture there in 1840 (" Malvolio before 
Olivia ") hung, by the way, at the very top of the architectural room we must 
push on to the first notable milestone. This was reached in 1845 by the young 
painter in a succession of ever-increasing strides, through the domains of Shakespeare, 
Sterne, Scott, the " Spectator," Moliere, and Goldsmith ; his illustration of " The 
Village Pastor," from the "Deserted Village," securing him his associateship in the 




WILLIAM POWELL FRITH, R.A. 145 

November of that year. Halting, and looking back for a moment hereabouts, we 
find an incident occurring in 1842 which deserves record, as indicating the change 
of the times. Charles Dickens commissioned the artist to paint him pictures of 
"Dolly Varden" and "Kate Nickleby," at the price of 20 apiece; and when, 
after the great author's death, his relics were scattered by Christie's hammer, 
" Dolly Varden " was sold for over 1,000. This " Dolly," however, is not the 
"Dolly Varden" of the Forster collection, now at South Kensington; that was 
bought by Mr. Frank Stone, R.A., of his rising young brother of the brush for 15, 
and presented to the eminent biographer, who treasured it highly. 

An augury of the Academic honours awaiting him was received by Mr. Frith 
in the May of 1845, whilst "The Village Pastor" was exhibiting, by the picture 
gaining for him the Liverpool 50 prize, a prize unfortunately since discon- 
tinued. The following year he still further justified his election by "An English 
Merry-making a Hundred Years Ago." This, and its companion, " Coming of Age 
in the Olden Time " (exhibited in 1849), show, from the wide popularity they have 
received through the engravings, how firmly established our painter's reputation was 
at this period. Mention, too, must not be omitted of the intermediate picture in 
1848, for it is seldom that such a dramatic subject from the byways of history 
offers itself to a painter of Mr. Frith's kind of ability. Its exact title escapes us, 
but the scene represents a country court of justice in the time of James I. An old 
woman is accused of witchcraft by the mother of the girl said to be bewitched, who 
cowers before the gaze that is turned upon her, whilst in the background stands 
the young swain, the real agent in the bewitchment. Industriously painted, and 
with all details and accessories wrought out with the utmost care, it can be easily 
understood that this was a remarkable work. " A Scene from ' Don Quixote,' " and 
another from " The Good-natured Man," now in the Sheepshanks collection, bear 
the date of 1850; " Hogarth Arrested as a Spy at Calais," that of 1851; and " Pope 
Making Love to Lady Mary Wortley Montagu," and " Bed Time," that of 1852. 

Again looking back at the amount and quality of the work turned off from 
Mr. Frith's easel since 1845, it is not wonderful to find the full honours of the 
Academy bestowed upon him in 1853, notwithstanding the absence of his name from 
the catalogue of that season. That he was not then an exhibitor is due to the 
fact that he was solely engaged upon the picture which was to carry his name to 
the corners of the world. " Eamsgate Sands " burst upon the public in 1854, and 
immediately found a purchaser in the Queen ; it did not, however, pass into Eoyal 
hands direct from the Academy walls. Through some caprice on the part of several 
gentlemen who were anxious about this time to possess a work by Mr. Frith, and 
to whom he gave the refusal of this one, they did refuse it, and he sold it 
finally to Mr. James Lloyd, the dealer from whom Her Majesty obtained it ; yes, 
and obtained it for the price paid to Mr. Frith, with the understanding that it 
should not be delivered for three years, in order that it might be engraved, Mr. 
Lloyd making his profit out of the copyright. This he sold to the Council of the 

48 



146 THE MODERN SCHOOL OF ART. 

Art Union of London, who placed the picture in the hands of Mr. Sharpe, the 
engraver, whose reproduction of it was for many years extremely popiilar. 

Naturally, after this effort, the painter's contributions for a year or two were 
comparatively unimportant. Besting upon what he had done, and girding himself 
up for another stride, he was hardly prominent again until 1858. But here he 
reached a milestone on his journey not readily to be forgotten. To mention " The 
Derby Day '' is to mention at once, perhaps, one of the most universally popular 
pictures ever painted ; so universally known is it, that any additional comment here, 
where space is limited, would be superfluous. 

A pause once more was to be expected after this triumph, but a portrait of 
Charles Dickens in his study, taken whilst he was writing the " Tale of Two 
Cities " now in the Forster Gallery, South Kensington was the small but highly 
interesting contribution of 1859, whilst " Claude Duval " (an engraving from which 
is given) the following year showed that our artist did not mean to abandon his 
old love of a period of costume more picturesque than our own. The last-named 
subject is a very happy one, combining, as it does, possibilities of grace and humour 
with sufficient dramatic quality. Claude Duval, the ideal highwayman, having, 
with his merry men, captured the carriage and suite of a lovely lady, with the 
lady herself, offered her free passage if she would dance a minuet with him then 
and there, which she did. Mr. Frith has mixed fear and fun prettily in the lady's 
face as she goes through her steps decorously, with her eyes on her grim but grace- 
ful partner. Her companion has fainted in the carriage, at the further window of 
which another masked robber keeps guard. Another of the gang has his pistol at 
the coachman's head, and the scene is generally one of terror; but the robber and 
the lady dance on. The reputation, however, which the "Derby Day" had won 
for the painter was too potent, and he was immediately called upon to give us 
another microcosm of contemporaneous life, which he did in the " Eailway Station," 
exhibited by himself in the Haymarket in 1863, and afterwards engraved. Eenown 
bringing with it, like riches and nobility, its own obligations, Mr. Frith was after this 
commanded by Her Majesty to paint the " Marriage of the Prince of Wales," and 
on this large and important work he was occupied till 1865. 

Feeling galled, perhaps, by the trammels which modern garments and accessories 
had imposed on him in these last two works, he was impelled to throw them off, 
and plunging into a more picturesque period, immediately set about the painting 
which perhaps more than any other embodied all his characteristics in the most 
favourable light. " Charles the Second's Last Sunday," exhibited in 1867, may be 
said to show Mr. Frith at his very best. Passing on now to other works of a 
like calibre, we can only glance at such intermediate canvases as appear to demand 
especial attention. One of these was "Dinner at Boswell's Lodgings," containing 
likenesses of Johnson, Garrick, Eeynolds, Goldsmith, &c., exhibited in 1868, which, 
when it came to the hammer at the sale of the Mendel collection, was knocked 
down for the extraordinary price of 4,567, one of the largest sums ever paid for 




d I 







a 

Q 



148 



THE MODERN SCHOOL OF ART. 



a work by a living artist, being an advance upon what the painter originally received 
for it of 3,067. In 1871 there was a return to modern life, in the " Salon d'Or " 
at Homburg, a group from which forms the subject of one of our engravings. A 
summer sojourn at Boulogne resulted, in addition to some small local subjects, 
in another important graphic presentment of national life and manners. " Blessing 
Little Children, a Procession in honour of Our Lady of Boulogne," which takes 
place annually at the French sea-port, offered in 1874 a theme in which the 
artist found himself thoroughly at home, and in which he fully maintained his 
pre-eminence. Again, amongst smaller canvases exhibited between this period and 

later years, two are especially 
deserving of mention, inasmuch as 
they display Mr. Frith in the class 
of subject in which he won his 
earliest honours. They were re- 
spectively a scene from " The Vicar 
of Wakefield," and one from Mo- 
liere's "L'Amour Medecin." 

Whatever merits may exist in 
the various modern schools of art 
which are daily putting forth 
claims upon public attention, and 
however greatly they may differ 
from that in which Mr. Frith was 
educated and has worked, it will 
be many a long year, we take it, 
ere it will be necessary at a public exhibition to protect from admiring crowds 
by a policeman any specimen of the more aesthetic principles. Yet we know that 
this has been necessary with almost every one of our painter's important pic- 
tures, from the "Derby Day" down to the " Eoad to Bum." It has been 
maintained, and with some truth, that it is the finest music which is always the 
most popular ; and some have been found to maintain that the principle may be 
applied to the sister art. It may also be urged that, however critics may differ 
as to the class of subjects and phases of life sometimes selected by Mr. Frith, 
there can be no question that in themes where these objections do not obtain, his 
merits as a painter are considerable. In conscientious and elaborate completeness in 
the smallest details, and in an almost unequalled knowledge of the way of bringing 
a picture with countless figures and incidents together in one harmonious, compre- 
hensive, and complete whole, he is perhaps unsurpassed ; whilst the quality and 
method of his painting, from the point of view of his own peculiar school, are as 
near a certain kind of perfection as can be. Full recognition, we are happy to 
know, of these facts is not confined to his own country and to the crowds that 
have, season after season, made it a difficulty even to get within sight of his 




THE LAST OF "THE UOAD TO KUIN " SERIES. 



II ILL! AM POWELL FRITH, K.A. 



149 



notable pictures. Wherever these have been exhibited in Paris, in Vienna, in 
Brussels, in Philadelphia they have procured for him but one result, and were it 
the fashion for Englishmen to display their decorations, his broad chest would be 
all too narrow to afford space for the crosses, medals, and ribbons which have 
been bestowed upon him in recognition of the peaceful victories he has won ; to 
say notmng of his having been created a member of four or five foreign Academies. 
With such results before us we give an anecdote which Mr. Frith tells of 




IN THE SALON 1) OH. 
(By kind Permission of Messrs. Henry Grava and Co.) 



himself, with all the quiet, sarcastic, but good-natured humour which distinguishes 
him ; begging leave at the same time to demur entirely from his own final comment. 
Here it is : 

" When my father brought me to London, a boy of sixteen, he brought also 
a folio of chalk and pencil drawings, copies of engravings, and showed them to 
Chalon, E.A., who thereupon advised that I should be an artist (if his opinion had 
been adverse I was to be an auctioneer) ; and I was accordingly made one. Many 
years afterwards, when I was myself R.A., I tried to recall this incident to Chalon, 
but he had totally forgotten it. I then showed him the drawings, and he exclaimed, 
' You don't mean to say that I advised you should be made an artist after seeing 



150 THE MODERN SCHOOL OF AUT. 

those things only ! ' ' You most certainly did,' said I. ' Then I was very wrong,' said 
he, 'for they contain nothing that would warrant my doing so; ' and he was right." 

We say we demur to this, for those drawings of a certainty must have contained 
visible germs of the latent ability which, through steady perseverance, determination, 
and untiring energy, has led to a success the popularity of which is remarkable 
even in the history of British art. 

Mr. Frith, triumphant when the century was in middle life, has had some hard 
criticism since it has become old. Mr. Buskin, for instance, who has never, as far 
as we know, had any fault to find with his methods, has been severe as to his subjects. 
Consulted in 1880 as to the best choice to be made of pictures for the Leicester Art 
Gallery, he replied: "What use is there in my telling you what to do? The mob 
will not let you do it. It is fatally true that no one nowadays can appreciate 
pictures by the old masters, and that every one can understand Frith's ' Derby 
Day ' that is to say, everybody is interested in jockeys, harlots, mountebanks, and 
men about town, bat nobody in saints, heroes, kings, or wise men, either from the 
east or west." Nevertheless, when, in 1878, Mr. Whistler brought his action against 
Buskin for libelling him as an artist whose " ill-educated conceit nearly approached 
the aspect of wilful imposture," and as a coxcomb who had had the " cockney 
impudence" to "ask two hundred guineas for throwing his paint-pot in the face of 
the public," Mr. Frith was a witness on the defendant's side. He was there much 
against his will, having refused once and then been subposnaed for the defence. 
Artistically speaking, his presence there was an absurdity ; the opinion of a Frith 
on a Whistler was a foregone conclusion. The art of the two men is so entirely a 
different art that the opinion of the one as to the achievement of the other is not 
in any sense the opinion of an expert. Asked whether Mr. Whistler's pictures 
were in his opinion works of art, he replied, " I should say not." The following 
dialogue then took place : " Take the ' Nocturne in black and gold,' representing 
the fireworks at Cremorne ; is that a serious work of art?" "Not to me." "Take 
the two others?" "There is a beautiful tone of colour in the picture of Old 
Battersea Bridge, but the colour does not represent any more than you could 
get from a bit of wall-paper or silk. I should say exactly the same in regard 
to the other picture. I have heard it described as a good representation of moon- 
light ; but it does not convey that impression to me. The ' Nocturne in black and 
gold' is not, in my opinion, worth 200. I have seen pictures without extreme 
finish which were extremely fine." " Are composition and detail important elements 
in the merit of a picture ?"" Very, and without them a picture cannot be called 
a work of art." "You attend here very much against your own will?" "Yes, it is 
a very painful thing to be called on to give evidence against a brother-artist." 
Cross-examined by Mr. Serjeant Parry, Mr. Frith said: "I think Mr. Whistler has 
very great power as an artist ; but in these things I do not see it displayed." "Do 
you agree that he has unrivalled atmospheric power?" " No." "I suppose, in 
your profession, men may honestly differ as to the merits of a picture ? " "Yes; 



WILLIAM POWELL FRITH, ll.A. 151 

that constantly happens." "Have you read Mr. liuskin's works ?"" Yes." "We 
know that Turner is an idol of Mr. Ruskin?" "I think he should be an idol of 
all painters." " Have you seen Turner's picture of the Snow-storm ? " " Yes." 
" Do you know that a critic described that picture as ' a mass of soapsuds and 
whitewash '?"" Yes ; and I think it very likely that I should call it so myself. 
When I say that Turner should be the idol of painters I refer to his earlier works, 
and not to the period when he was half crazy, and produced works about as insane 
as the people who admire them. I have heard Turner himself speak of some of 
his productions as nothing better than salad and mustard." 

This little bit of cross-examination is worth putting on permanent record for its 
allusions to Euskin and Turner, including the very notable anecdote with which it 
closes. The names of Ruskin, Whistler, and Frith represent the extremities of an 
equilateral triangle, for each one is as far distant from the one as from the other 
of the two remaining. So various are the theories inspired by art, which has many 
various crowns to offer. And no one has worn his crown with more effect, pleasure, 
and profit, than the painter of the " Railway Station " in his day and hour. 






JEAN FRANQOIS MILLET. 

HE great genius and noble personality of Jean Franois Millet are united 
to a story of simplicity, Christian poverty, and bitter privation which 
makes a strange appearance among the comfortable and prosperous little 
biographies of the "modern school of art." The genius of Millet is to 
be reverenced in his work ; his personality is one of the sincerest and most 
uncorrupt in all human history. As to his biography, a few words will 
tell it. He was born, in 1814, at Gruchy, in the department of the Manche. 
Peasants as were his parents and his kin, they were no ordinary peasants. His 
uncle, to whom the artist's early training was confided, was a lowly-born priest, 
who, after his early mass in the village church, was wont to doff his soutane and 
go to a day of field labour; a man of mind and of giant physical strength, as the 
work he did in the soul of his nephew, and the wall which he built single-handed to 
prop a piece of falling land, bear witness. From him Jean Francois learnt &11 he 
knew love of God, love of Nature, Virgil, and the Scriptures. When in after years 
the painter went back to the church at Gruchy, he found his old tutor praying alone 
before the altar. The priest asked him did he still remember his Bible. " I get 
from it all I do," he answered. "And you used to love Virgil." " I love him still." 
Nor was Millet's father a common peasant, for he quickly saw his son's power, and 
encouraged him to take as his profession that calling of art which is not familiar 
to common peasants in any country. His childhood was passed in the austerity, 
self-denial, affection, and prayers of a home of family love and labour. After a 
short study of art at Cherbourg, he went to Paris, and had a hard time as a timid 



JKAN FRANCOIS MILLET. 



153 



but severe painter, disliked for his originality, his nature, his disapproval of all the 
trivialities, whether learned or frivolous or romantic. Failure and discouragement 
'were his constant companions. As a young student in Paris, as a husband and 
father painting for bread in the village of Barbizou, ho knew not only hardship, but 
hunger and want. But in the cruellest years he kept his exalted heart. " Oh, how 
I wish I could make those who see my work feel the splendours and terrors of the 
night ! One ought to be able to make people hear the songs, the silences, the 
murmurs of the air." 

After years of keen 
and constant suffering 
and humiliation at the 
hands of men, which 
seemed only to bring 
him nearer to Divine 
things, Millet put him- 
self out of danger of 
hunger, in 1860, by 
making a contract with 





THE HOUSE WHERE MILLET WAS BORN' ORUCHY. 



aae 



MILLET'S HOUSE AT U.UIHIZON. 

a picture-dealer, who was 
to take all his work for 
480 a year for three years. 
With an undisturbed mind 
he did his noblest work 
under the pressure of a kind 
of slavery, which a less noble 
spirit would have found intolerable. He lived to see his name illustrious, and his 
pictures contended for at enormous prices ; but Poverty took care of her child, for 
he never benefited by the money given for his work. In some way the dealers had 
him in their grasp, and he died in 1875, not in want, but having never known 
riches. He had been made Chevalier of the Legion of Honour in 1868, and his 
name had been enthusiastically applauded. The critics had raved about him, but 
he had no respect for the critics. If, however, we need not stop to inquire what 
men like Thcophile Gautier said of him, what he thought of them is well worthy 
of our study. 

Millet was somo three- and-t wen ty years old when, in 1837, the. year of such 
handiwork as Ary Scheffer's " Le Christ," and the tremendous " Messe des Morts " 
49 




a 
'if. 



1 

tt 

H 



H 

ta 

CO 



JEAN FRANCOIS MILLET. 155 

of Hector Berlioz, he set foot for the first time in Paris. Seen from afar from 
the quiet gallery at Cherbourg, where he copied Jordaens and Van Loo, and from 
the tiny pastoral hamlet on the cliffs of the Hogue, where he had learned to read 
Virgil, and to plough and sow, and to discern the meanings and essential qualities 
in Nature the city had appeared to him as a kind of intellectual El Dorado, " the 
centre of knowledge and a museum of all great things ; " and he was urged towards 
its splendid and fascinating mysteriousness as by the promptings of a familiar spirit. 
His first impressions of loneliness, terror, hatred, disappointment were moving 
enough. To him, fresh from green Norman uplands and the patriarchal simplicity 
of Gruchy, the flagrant cynicism of the Paris that was Balzac's seemed hideous and 
abominable. He was bewildered by the tumult and the teeming life : he was 
affronted by the multitudinous immodesty; the dirt, the noise, the flowing kennels, 
the squalid lodgings, the pictures in the shop windows naked lithographs by Achille 
and Eugene Deveria, the elegant brutalities of Gavarni, the melancholy black- 
guardisms of Travies were alike unnatural and repulsive ; and it was only after 
much home-sickness and internal debate that he could bring himself to remain. It 
was not that he doubted of himself, or that he had any fear of failure as a painter. 
At no moment in his career did it ever occur to him that self-confidence might 
possibly be pushed too far, or that what he had to say might, after all, be not 
worth saying. His aversion was purely moral ; his trouble was composed of equal 
parts of amazement and disgust. He was a solemn and earnest young bumpkin, 
reared upon the Bible and Virgil and the writers of Port-Royal ; and of a sudden 
he found himself struggling for consciousness and life in the foul ocean of Parisian 
existence plunged to the neck in the mud-bath that has " Eolla " for its epic 
and the " Comedie Humaiue " for its universal history. It is hardly too much to 
say that he would not have been Millet, and that he would never have painted 
the "Angelus" and the " Serneur," had his loathing been less, and his terrors 
lighter, than they were. 

Young as he was, he had already thought out a theory of art. " Je suis arriv6 
a Paris," he says, " avec des idees toutes faites, et je n'ai pas juge a propos de les 
modifier depuis." He had a message of his own to deliver, in fact ; and we do not 
doubt that, little as he knew, and much as he had to learn he had never taken 
brush in hand he was in some sort resolved upon the manner of his utterance, as 
he was upon the matter. Had he alighted in Raphael's Rome or Buonarroti's 
Florence, we suspect that the spirit of his prelections would have remained unchanged, 
and that he would have appropriated no more of the methods he could see and 
study about him than would serve to educate and perfectly develop ideas of technical 
expression that were already years old, and had been keeping abreast in growth 
with the artist's growing consciousness of capacity and with his increasing knowledge 
of the function of art and of the nature and terms of the announcement he had 
come to make. As it was, his bourne was the Paris of Romanticism, and had for 
its most popular masters, not Ingres and Delacroix the one the Wellington of line, 



156 THE MODERN SCHOOL OF ART. 

the other the Napoleon of colour hut Louis Boulanger, the prince of painters 
according to Hugo, and the two Deverias, and Paul Delaroche, the Shakespeare of 
Philistinism, the accomplished Kobert-Fleury and the sentimental Ary Scheffer, 
with Schuetz and Leopold Eobert, and the improvisatore of forms and aspects, 
Horace Vernet. 

Now Eomanticism is of all theories of esthetics the one that may most aptly 
and readily be burdened with the reproach of theatricality. The expression of a 
furious reaction against the stupid pedantry that had been since Malherhe a governing 
influence in intellectual France, and against the systematic perversion of those 
eternal rules in obedience to which so much of what is best and noblest in French 
art had been achieved, it was, to begin with, an effect of imitation, and of imitation 
concerning itself not with essentials, but only with externals, and with externals 
imperfectly seen and still more imperfectly understood. Affectation flourished ; and 
veracity, grown equally noisome with the principles of classic art, was abandoned 
to academicians and curates. The movement was an irresistible opportunity of 
melodrama ; and its heroes as if inspired by the example of Frederick and Dorval, 
and of Eachel and Bocage, who were making the stage of France the most illustrious 
and commanding in the world were histrionic almost to a man. They were quite 
sincere in their impersonations ; but it was as actors are sincere, and as actors who 
do not quite understand the words of their parts. In these they were but letter- 
perfect at the best ; but they played them till they believed in them and in them- 
selves. Pathos, humour, dignity, terror, sublimity, simplicity all was artificial. 
Phrebus and his girls inhabited a Parnassus contrived upon the pattern of Abbotsford. 
It was an epoch of pose, the Golden Age of the tableau, a splendid and sonorous 
apotheosis of mimicry. The Virgin Justice did indeed return, and among the 
blessings she brought in her train were Didier's honour and the renovated maidenhood 
of Marion Delorme were the erotic falsehoods of Camille de Maupin and the 
random cynicisms of Mardoche, the Byronics of the " Symphonie Fantastique " and 
the cheap terrors of the " Eonde du Sabbat," the lackadaisical prurience of Scheffer 
and the unnatural ineptitudes of Petrus Borel : with the virtue of Leila, and the 
passion of Antony, and the humour of Eobert Macaire, and the Shakespearean 
quality of "Cromwell" and " Hernani." Everybody was Gothic, fatal, terrible, 
contemptuous alike of destiny and the classic in art. They adored the grotesque; 
they garbed themselves in wild waistcoats of crimson satin and majestic Spanish 
cloaks, and the hat of the free and independent brigand ; they partook of ice-cream 
from skulls, they made their pastime of horrors and mediaeval oaths, they took a 
decent pride in singing choruses unfit for print; they refrained enthusiastically 
from barbering and the theory of virtue, and went about in a glory of hair and 
imposing adjectives. In imagination they revelled in crime, and as artists they 
shrank from nothing. They liked to think of and picture themselves as prac- 
tical desperadoes of the most relentless type : as tigers in revenge, as hyjenas 
in craftiness and subtlety, as Lucifers in pride and fearlessness and force of will, 



.//;. i. v nt.ixqois MIIJ,I:T. 



157 



as lions in luxury and in love. They wooed their mistresses in print at least 
with threats and truculent imprecations: "Par la mort, madame,'' "Par 1'en- 
fer," " Par le sang "and so forth ; they went armed against husbands, and 




"LE UKPAKT rouu LE TUAVAIL." 

were amorous of discovery and the duello; in their raptures they were truculent, 
savage, formidahle 

" Quel plaisir de tordre 
Nos bras amoureux, 
Et puis de nous mordre, 
En huiiant tous deux ! " 

runs the parody ; and the parody is by no means extravagant. All was excess, 
confusion, mediaevalism, immorality, revolt, Toledo blades, and universal boyishness. 



158 THE MODERN SCHOOL OF ART. 

Art became another word for individual caprice ; tragedy, a question of subject ; 
extravagance, a substitute for imagination ; passion, an excuse for indecency. In 
all quarters at once " tbe word it was bilbo ; " and Shakespeare, Byron, Scott, 
Schiller, Goethe, and Calderon were quoted in defence of all that is abnormal, and 
brought forward as exampling everything horrible. Delaroche, the mildest of men 
and talents, painted nothing but death-beds, scaffolds, and murders; Delacroix 
exulted in plagues and massacres and combats ; Preault, the Chamfort of the move- 
ment, produced a " Tuerie " in bas-relief; Berlioz has become immortal as the 
musician of orgies and sabbaths, and of the presences of Pandemonium and the 
abyss ; the first fifty-six years of Victor Hugo might have been described as six-and- 
fifty years of violent melodrama ; Gautier persistently mistook offensiveness for 
creation ; Dumas, the most boyish of men, has dramatised every crime in the 
calendar ; for a quarter of a century George Sand and impropriety were convertible 
terms. It was as though every one had resolved to descend, as Baudelaire has it, 
" au fond de Finconnu pour trouver du nouveau." What is remarkable is that side 
by side with this preposterous insufficiency of matter there existed incomparable 
excellences of manner. The Eomanticists were boys in years and experience and 
the capacity of thought ; but they were grown men from the first in technical 
dexterity and the capacity of form. Victor Hugo not only emancipated French 
verse ; he may almost be said to have created it anew. Dumas invented the modern 
drama, and produced the strongest and best examples yet achieved. Berlioz, the 
very genius of technical accomplishment, took up instrumental music, as he says, 
" where Beethoven had laid it down," founded the modern orchestra, and used it so 
brilliantly and well as to have left his successors the most and least inventive 
alike no choice but imitation. Barye made sculpture a living art once more ; 
Gautier's literary accomplishment, in prose and verse, is almost phenomenal ; the 
style of George Sand was long held to be one of the high- water marks of prose ; 
the black-and-white work of Honore Daumier has never been surpassed ; the draughts- 
manship and colouring of Eugene Delacroix have been compared with Eubens's own. 
If, as now is evident, in heart and imagination not less than in tact, dignity, measure, 
and restraint, Boinanticism left much to be desired, and was, indeed, conspicuously 
imperfect, there is no denying that it had the virtue of form in incomparable fulness, 
and that, in this respect, its teaching and example have gone far to revolutionise 
the practice of the world. 

Blessings like those we have enumerated blessings mainly " de reflet et de 
reverbere," as old Mirabeau would have put it were- not at all to Millet's taste. 
He was out of love with Eomanticism almost ere he knew it ; for the loudest and 
most brilliant of its tendencies were naturally antipathetic to him, and he was deaf 
and blind to the greater number of those burning questions by which the minds of 
all Komanticists alike, from Hugo and Dumas down to the impassioned Philothee 
O'Neddy and the ardent Augustus MacKeat, were most constantly and most vigorously 
moved. A countryman of Poussin, he had more than Poussin's gravity of temper, 






co e 

M o 

7 

il 
i! 

ii 



1GO THE MODERN SCHOOL OF ART. 

and more than Poussin's heroism of mind. Ho had been nurtured, as we have said, 
upon Virgil and the Scriptures, upon Bossuet and Augustine and Jerome, upon 
Feuelon and Pascal and Nicole ; his kith and kin had all been given to the practice 
of an earnest Christianity ; he had lived long in a pastoral country, afc the sea's 
edge, in close communion with Nature; his mind and imagination were epical and 
solemn. In a certain sense, too, he was well and widely read, and in all probability 
he knew a great deal more about the theory and practice of good literature than 
the hot-blooded young fanatics who fought the battle of " Hernani," and applauded 
the sparkling tediousness of " Albertus." At Cherbourg he had passed his time 
between books and pictures, devouring all the literary matter he could lay hands 
on, and judging it decisively and surely. He knew Homer and he knew Paul de 
Kock; he was an adept in Hugo (whom he admired deeply and discreetly), and 
in American Cooper; he had discovered Byron, and Shakespeare whom he idolised 
and Walter Scott, the sovereign of romance; he had read "Faust" and Schiller, 
and Uhland's ballads and Montaigne's essays ; he had drunk of Beranger's champagne 
and the sweet wine of Lamartine, and the attractive poisons of Musset. He was 
enamoured of the heroic, in art and in life ; he held sincerity for a cardinal virtue 
and affectation for one of the deadly sins ; he went so far, in his lusty and simple 
Catholicism, as not only to avoid the theatre itself, but to opine that no actor could 
possibly be other than false, and that the society of actors and actresses and the 
study of the stage were bad for serious art and serious artists alike. To beauty 
of form he was in some sort indifferent, at all events as compared with greatness 
of soul. The qualities that affected him in art were the reverse of those most 
vigorously pursued by the more distinguished of his contemporaries. Mere grace- 
fulness of line and vivacity and charm of colouring, mere gallantry of phrase and 
brilliancy of expression, appear, whatever the medium, to have had no sort of attrac- 
tion for him ; he cared nothing for the commonplace, and nothing for artifice, for 
trick, for insignificant and unprofitable dexterity ; he was a thousandfold more 
curious of matter than form, of meaning than expression, of essentials than externals. 
Poussin, Michel Angelo, Diirer, Leonardo the masters on whom he formed himself, 
and in the study of whose practice he developed and completed his own unrivalled 
method were precisely those to whom the capacity of perfect expression had been 
least precious as an end and more useful as a means. It was by the familiarity of 
these incomparable men that he learned to be the Millet we know, and, possessing 
himself of the only secrets he coveted, assured himself of victory in the struggle 
upon which he had entered. They it was who taught him to represent in visible 
shapes the hidden soul of things ; to clothe his imaginings with dignity and give 
heroic import to the work of his hands ; to make mystery apparent and real, and 
translate the unspeakable into terms that should be understanded of men. How 
should one to whom all Beethoven has been revealed surrender himself to the worship 
of Wagner ? How should one who has comprehended Shakespeare and ^Eschylus 
be passionately interested in Rousseau and Chateaubriand, and prefer the vague 



JEAN FRANCOIS MILLET 161 

romance of ' Atala " to the superhuman tragedy of the " Oresteia," or the enervating 
eloquence of the " Nouvelle Heloise " to the tremendous griefs and terrors of " Lear " ? 
Millet, with that in him that passeth show, went on his own way from the outset, 
and left the braveries and gallantries of Romanticism to whomsoever they might 
please. He liked them as little as he liked the horseplay at the Chaurniere, or 
the pierrots and debardeurs he may have seen at Musard's balls. It must be 
owned that the Romanticists repaid him in kind. He lived to become the most 
romantic of modern painters, and to do work in which the quality is felt at once 
legendary and heroic. But the romance was not that of " Buy Bias " and the 
" Francesca da Rimini;" it avoided the Injured Husband and took no account of 
the Toledo blade ; the professional Romanticists were unaware of its existence. 
Perhaps the bitterest and narrowest of the artist's many critics bitter and narrow 
as they inclined to be were Thdophile Gautier, a " vaillaut de dix-huit cent trente," 
and Paul de Saint- Victor, a Romanticist of a later date and a more dubious type. 
They mistook him for a realist, and they handled him as Jeffrey handled Words- 
worth : as arrogantly as they could, that is to say, and with a want of understanding 
as complete as prejudice and vanity could make it. 

This was long years after. For the moment Millet was new to Paris, and was 
behaving in a way that goes far tp justify the nickname of "the Wild Man of the 
Woods " that was presently to be bestowed upon him by his comrades in Delaroche's 
studio. He was suspicious and shy enough to refuse assistance from the first of 
those to whom he presented the letters of introduction with which he had been 
equipped at Cherbourg ; because, if you please, the chance was saddled with con- 
ditions as to his incomings and outgoings, which he did not feel at liberty to accept. 
In much the same spirit he betook himself to the house of another of his consignees, 
who was an expert at one of the museums. The good man received him kindly, 
was greatly taken with his work, and promised him introductions to all sorts of 
painters, and a place in the Fjcole des Beaux-Arts ; but Millet was afraid of schools 
and rules, and the baffled expert saw him no more. And in a similar humour of 
distrust did he endeavour to achieve the consummation of one of his dearest wishes. 
For the moment he thought little of work or cheerful lodgings. What he really 
lived for was to see the Old Masters in the Louvre ; and every morning he went 
in search of them, not daring to ask his way to the museum for fear of looking a 
fool, and hoping always that he might come upon it by chance. This, in fact, he 
did from the Pont-Neuf; and he hurried up the great staircase " avec les batte- 
ments de coeur et la precipitation de quelqu'un qui atteint un grand but." He 
found himself in a place " ou tout ce que je regardais in'apparaissait comme la 
realite" de mes reves." And thereafter he spent a whole month with the immortals ; 
studying, pondering, analysing ; living the life of their creations, suffering in their 
griefs, joying with their joys, dreaming himself into their dreams. Save for them, 
he was utterly alone ; and there were moments when home-sickness came upon 
him so mightily that he often half-made up his mind to take the road for Gruchy, 

50 



162 TUB MODERN SCHOOL OF ART. 

and tramp the whole way back again. But the Old Masters had taken possession of 
him. He went to them, and they consoled him ; and at night he forgot his troubles 
in thinking of their works and ways. His impressions, albeit imaginatively expressed, 
axe singularly precise and luminous. For Boucher and Watteau, whom he was 
afterwards to imitate for bread, he cared nothing. Boucher " n'&ait qu'un en- 
traineur;" his nymphs and goddesses were " de petites creatures deshabillees ; " 




THE SAWYERS. 

{By Permission of Constantino lonides, Esq.) 



to admire them was impossible with their "jambes fluettes, leurs pieds meurtiis 
dans le soulier a talon, leur taille amincie dans le corset, leurs mains inutiles, leurs 
gorges exsangues." He forgot them in the contemplation of the burly and glowing 
beauties of Eubens, or the worship of the antique Diana : " si belle, si noble, et de 
la plus haute distinction de formes." As for Watteau, " c'etait tin petit monde de 
theatre, qui me peinait. J'y voyais le charme de la palette, et la finesse de Pexpres- 
sion, et jusqu'k la melancolie de ces bonshommes de coulisses condamnes a rire. 
Cependant les marionettes me revenaient sans cesse a 1'esprit, et je me disais que 
toute cette petite troupe allait rentrer dans une boite apres le spectacle, et y pleurer 
sa destinee." As may be seen by this delicate and suggestive criticism, Millet 



JI:.\N FRANCOIS MII,U;T. 




GATHERING BEAN*. 
(/ Iht Morgan Collection, New York.) 



was enamoured of other qualities than grace and fantasy and charm. What he 
sought was sincerity, was strength, was what is large and liberal and majestic. 



164, THE MODERN SCHOOL OF ART. 

He could see in Lesueur, "the Jansenist of painting," " une des grandes times 
de notre ecole ; " and the great Italians possessed him with their beauty and their 
skill. He liked Velasquez only as a craftsman ; he admired Murillo in his portraits ; 
he found much to consider in Eihera. Of Rembrandt, whom he did not know 
till afterwards, he speaks as a higher essence, a being supernatural and august. 
"II ne me repoussait pas, mais m'aveuglait," he says; "je pensais qu'il fallait faire 
des stations avant d'entrer dans le genie de cet homme." Scarce less authorita- 
tive and exact is his description of the Pre-Raphaelites of Angelico and Mantegna 
and Lippo Lippi. They affected him profoundly from the first; he would look at 
Mantegna's "Saint Sebastian" till he felt himself bleeding and shot full of arrows; 
and while he lived he retained his reverence for them and his first impressions of 
their handiwork, with its passion, its simplicity, its inexhaustible humanity, its 
poignant and unalterable sincerity. First and last, however, the gods of his idolatry 
were Poussin and Michel Angelo. He studied them incessantly, ^reading and re- 
reading all they had written, getting by heart all they had produced, making their 
precept and example the basis of his accomplishment. To him Poussin, " sans cesser 
d'etre le metteur-en-scene le plus eloquent," was " le prophete, le sage, et le philo- 
sophe " of the French school; and he adds, enthusiastically, that he could spend 
'his whole life before Poussin's work without ever having too much of it. For Michel 
Angelo " celui qui me hanta si fortement toute ma vie," as he describes him his 
reverence was still greater, his admiration still more intelligent and impassioned 
The sight of one of that Titanic master's drawings of a man in swoon affected 
him much as Berlioz was affected by the " Iphigenie en Tauride," or the immortal 
"Moonlight" Sonata. " The expression," he writes of it, "of the unstrung muscles 
the planes and modelling of the body oppressed by physical torture, gave me sensa- 
tion after sensation. I was anguished, I pitied, I suffered with that very frame 
and in those very limbs. I saw that he who had done thus much might embody in 
a single figure all the good and evil of humanity." Read in the light of Millet's 
own work, this last sentence is curiously significant. It was his to do for a class 
what he felt the great Florentine might do for the race. His landscapes and his 
effects of weather are typical and eternal ; his figures are legendary and heroic. 
His Sower strides afield with "the port and gesture of the First Husbandman." 
His Shepherd, in " Le Berger au Pare," lifts his crook in the mysterious moon- 
light with a gesture that assumes all human authority. 

Beside the patriarchs and heroes of the Louvre the moderns in the Luxem- 
bourg cut but a poor figure. With Millet, as with Thackeray, Delacroix the Berlioz 
of painting as Berlioz is the Delacroix of music alone found favour among them. 
A great intelligence, a great draughtsman, a great colourist, a great inventor, inspir- 
ing himself from Rubens on the one hand and from Constable on the other, he had 
been for fifteen years the most renowned and daring captain in all the Romantic host. 
He had stepped at once into the command left vacant by the death of Grericault ; 
he had painted the " Bataille de Nancy," the " Hamlet," the " Revolution de Juillet," 



JUAN FfiANQOIS MILLET. 165 

the "Massacre de Scio," the " Mariuo Faliero;" he had produced, in the "Faust" 
lithographs a work which had won from Goethe himself the confession that in certain 
scenes himself had seen less clearly and imagined less vividly than his illustrator. 
Nourishing himself upon Byron, Scott, Shakespeare, the greater Germans, he had 
found for the spirit of Romanticism at its highest and clearest an expression so 
vigorous and commanding as to secure him a place among the princes of modern 
painting. Chief among his pictures in the Luxembourg was that illustration of 
Dante the famous " Barque du Dante " with which he had broken ground as a 
painter. It is of Virgil and the Florentine embarked with Charon the " vecchio 
bianco per antico pelo " and passing Acheron, the mournful river, among the af- 
flicted and desperate spirits of the damned ; and in energy and daring, in vigour 
of design and imaginativeness of colouring, in abundance of invention and variety 
and truth of gesture, it remains among the masterpieces of modern art. Millet 
saw it, and others with it ; he found them " grands par les gestes, grands par 
1'invention et la richesse du coloris ; " and he always loved and studied their 
author as he deserved. Years afterwards, indeed, he is found making special 
journeys from Barbizon to Paris to attend the Delacroix sale, and, albeit in the 
direst poverty, devoting some hundreds of francs to the purchase of certain of the 
master's drawings. For the master's rivals in the Luxembourg he felt then and 
always little but indifference or disdain. They were popular all over Europe, but 
he could discover nothing in their work but " figures de cire, costumes de conven- 
tion, et une fadeur repoussante dans 1'inveution et 1'expression." The master-works 
of Delaroche, " Les Enfants d'Edouard," and the picture of the dying Elizabeth, 
seemed no more than " de graudes vignettes," or at best " des effets de theatre," 
not forgetting "la pose et la mise-en-scene." Of Louis Boulanger, the author ot 
the " Mazeppa " and the " llonde du Sabbat;" of Achille Deveria, who for a day or 
two was supposed to have more genius and more art than Delacroix ; of Ary Scheffer, 
the painter of " Faust et Marguerite " and " Francesca da Rimini " and " Les 
Femmes Souliotes " the austere young critic says nothing positive and conclusive. 
We imagine these and others to be included in the condemnation we quoted above 
of a whole body of painters who had nothing to show for their renown but 
conventional costumes and waxwork figures, and " une fadeur repoussante " in 
conception and execution. They were not the men for him. He might have 
painted his " Starting for Work " for no other reason than to show how utterly he 
disapproved of then 1 theory of art, and how remote from them and their work in 
sentiment, in ambition, in ideal he was. He liked them ill enough at three-and- 
twenty ; for he concludes his confession of faith by declaring that they it was, 
and not Bocage and Frederic, not "Antony" and the "Tour de Nesle," that made 
him contemn the stage and mistrust and disparage the actor. 




<^*^^t 




I From a MolograpK Ity Hie Imperial Photographic Company.} 



JOHN PETTIE, R.A. 

NOTABLE addition to the number of painters' residences is that of Mr. 
Pettie, as described by an observant visitor a few seasons ago. It stands 
in Fitzjohn's Avenue, that long steep street in South Hampstead which 
disputes with Melbury Eoad the honour of being the favourite artistic 
haunt. It is just a square red-brick house, that promises to give you good 
square rooms, much light and air, although containing none of those 
curious nooks and angles, so dear to artists of a certain school, so capable of 
picturesque effects, which are the nineteenth -century development of Queen 
Anne architecture. This house is really a correct specimen of the Queen Anne 
period, the other style being a combination of Elizabethan and Queen Anne. 




JOHN PETTIE, H.A. 107 

There is a certain meagreness about the flat pilasters that form the only attempt at 
decoration of its front ; hut these fluted pilasters are perhaps a favourite mode of 
ornamentation with Mr. Pettie or his architect. At least, we find them frequently 
repeated inside the house, with better effect, however, than on its exterior. Mount- 
ing the steps and entering the square portico, within which is the front door, a 
suspicion strikes us that this house may have, after all, other than a commonplace 
tenant, for the sides of the portico are decorated with a dado of stamped Spanish 
leather a decorative idea that probably would have occurred only to an artist. 
It is evident that Mr. Pettie loves light, and admits into his house as much of 
it as he can get in this dark city of ours. Not only is half of the hall-door of 
glass stained in light tints, but it is flanked on each side by windows also filled 
in with faintly-tinted glass, so that a full undimmed light streams into the narrow 
entrance-hall that leads direct into the studio, and is shut off from the two sides 
of the house by massive doors. This entrance-hall is paved with small mosaic 
after the Italian fashion : the colours are cool and low, the pattern is a graceful 
but unobtrusive arabesque. The walls divided into panels by raised mouldings- 
are tinted a light colour, the ceiling is white and decorated in panel. On the 
walls hang photographs from some of Mr. Pettie's portraits of contemporaries. 
A. couple of miserere seats take the place of hall-chairs; the lamp is a brazen 
copy of an old lantern ; a curtain looped up at the end gives the only touch of 
warm colour. On each side of this stand busts, by Mr. Lawson, of Mrs. Pettie and 
one of her sons. It admits into a small ante-room lighted by a circular skylight, 
whose wooden panelling repeats the pilaster decoration of the front; and herefrom 
a heavy door, stained a deep dark colour, relieved by mosaic brass handles of the 
long Continental pattern, admits to the studio. 

This is a room fifty feet long by thirty wide, and high in proportion, very 
light, of which the first effect is rather bald. Mr. Pettie is proud of it as a good 
work-room, and this undoubtedly it must be, while for happy and scientific arrange- 
ment of light it probably has not its rival in London. It is evident the artist is 
no lover of artistic litter ; as are his pictures, solid and serious, so is his house. 
A wooden dado runs round the room, whence spring forth at intervals the fluted 
wooden pilasters of the exterior. A large window, facing the north, lets in a 
flood of light, regulated by a blind pulling up from the ground. A heavy curtain 
of a rich dark brown hangs beside this window, and can be drawn around in the 
form of a deep semicircle, thus leaving a cosy niche behind its folds. Here stand 
a comfortable-cushioned sofa, and a small table bearing Havana cigars. That Mr. 
Pettie is a great smoker there are many indications in his workshop. From this 
point we can best survey the room, and towards this spot naturally all the easels 
look that are disposed, apparently at random, about the large square space. The 
floor is of dark inlaid polished wood, with here and there an Eastern nig spread 
to break its monotony of chill surface. Immediately opposite the window is the 
fireplace, also of wood, simple and dignified in design, enclosing an Abbotsfurd stove 



168 THE MODERN SCHOOL OF ART. 

flanked on each side by dark red-brown tiles, and surrounded by a low fender of the 
same material. Above the fireplace, and stretching across nearly the whole side of 
the wall, is a fine piece of ancient Flemish tapestry, designed, it is said, by Kubens, 
representing the triumph of Antony and Cleopatra. Beside the fireplace, on 
either side, is a pile of quaint and rnsty weapons ancient muskets, carbines, blunder- 
busses, halberts, broadswords, pikes, lances, and what-not else of implements of 
older warfare. Indeed, that arms and armour have an attraction for Mr. Pettie 
we should learn from his studio did we not know it from his canvases. Upon the 
chimney-piece, by way of ornament, lie curious old pistols and other smaller 
instruments of murder, flanked on each side by upright brass lamps of that gas 
whose introduction into our streets has done so much to check the illicit warfare 
beloved of men in the days Mr. Pettie resuscitates for us with his skilful brush. 
As chief ornament of the mantelshelf stands a small clay sketch of Sir Frederick 
Leighton's "Python Slayer," brute animal force being thus contrasted with the 
implements of human inventiveness. Each side the fireplace stand carved wooden 
cabinets, surmounted by two complete suits of fine armour, one of the character of 
that worn about the period of the Commonwealth, the other a demi-suit of the 
time of Henry VIII. On a table close by lie cross-bows and a shield of the 
Crusader pattern, doubtless required by some picture momentarily in hand, for a 
branch of beech still bearing its shrivelled copper-coloured winter leaves is laid 
across them, suggesting that the arrangement is only a temporary one. Upon the 
wall that corresponds with the entry-door hang the only pictures that decorate this 
studio : two from the artist's own brush the portrait of a lady in eighteenth century 
costume, and a spirited study of the head of a " St. John." Between them hangs a 
dignified full-length of an old noble, dated 1648. Beneath are two curious low 
Italian intarsia cabinets. Upon these rest strange incongruity a couple of Scotch 
rams' heads; a small model of an early cannon ; a silvered copy of Lawson's " Dominie 
Sampson; " a rather stern head of the artist by the same sculptor; and a few trifles 
in the way of virtu. The studio is lighted by a large sunlight in the roof; and 
at night by gas from star-shaped burners surrounded by a reflector after the pattern 
of the lights in St. James's Hah 1 and by a movable gas-stand fitted with reflectors. 
The lay-figure was, when we saw the room, carefully thrust into a dark corner, 
where its ghastly woodenness was less apparent and obtrusive. Small bookcases, 
hung on each side the window, contain books chiefly bearing on art, architecture, 
and history; but we noted no choice works, no editions de luxe. It is plain that 
Mr. Pettie' s tastes are directed towards the practical and useful. 

The studio is divided at about two-thirds of its length by a rich dark crimson 
velvet curtain ; and there is thus formed a second inner studio with an east light. 
This apartment is more cosy; here sketches stand and lie about; here, too, is the 
artist's writing-table, and a large comfortable chair stands beside the fireplace, 
suggesting rest and recreation. Over this fireplace, the same in design as that of 
the larger studio, is also stretched a Gobelin, above which hang a couple of 



JOHN PETTIE, R.A. 



169 



broadswords and targets, while 
from the centre depends a set 
of pipes. A small staircase leads 
down into a fair-sized room be- 
low, which Mr. Pettie uses as 
a property-room, thus getting rid 
of the inevitable artistic lumber, 
of which the absence is remark- 
able in his studio. An amusing 
place it is, with its long racks 
of clothes, of the most varied 
characters and periods -- the 
clothes of men and women, 
cavaliers and roundheads, hang- 




MH. TETTIB'S HOUSE THE STUDIO. 



ing together peacefully 
cheek by jowl. On the 
walls are pinned rough 
sketches, little traits of 
people or places that will 
be worked up some day 
into larger compositions. 
Retracing our steps 
through the two studios 
and the narrow entrance- 
hall, we enter by means 
of a side-door the inner 
hall. This is, perhaps, 
the prettiest and most 
picturesque bit in the 
whole dwelling. It is a 
square space, its height 
that of the house, lighted 
above the three arches 
figured in our sketch by 



51 



170 



THE MODERN SCHOOL OF ART. 



windows of plain glass leaded in arabesque patterns. The low easy stairs are of 
light-brown unpolished wood, and of the same material is the carved balustrade, har- 
monising pleasantly with the soft chrome colour of the walls. The ceiling above is of 
a soft green, while the doors are stained a dark blue-green. The effect of the whole 

is most reposeful and pleasant. 
The fireplace is of wood and 
tiles, massive brass ornaments in 
the fender furnishing points of 
light and relief. Some blue-green 
china on the mantelshelf also 
contributes its quota of colour, 
as do the Oriental rugs that lie 
upon the floor. Above the fire- 
place stands a spirited terra-cotta, 
a "Baillie Nicol Jarvie," by 
Lawson ; while round the walls 
hang etchings, silver-points, and 
engravings after Millais, Briton 
Eiviere, MacWhirter, and others 
of the artist's fellow- workmen. 
They are mostly fine presentation 
copies, rendered yet more valuable 
by the donors' autographs. This 
hall is lighted by a brass lamp 
of antique pattern. 

The door figured in our 
sketch beside the fireplace leads 
to the regions of the kitchens, 
while another door facing the 
staircase gives admission to the 
dining-room. From the first mo- 
ment of entering this room it 
strikes us pleasantly, it is so 
agreeable in colour, richer and 

deeper in tone than anything we have hitherto seen here. Around the lower part 
of the walls runs a dado of wood, painted jet-black. The doors, too, are black, their 
only point of light being their long brass handles. Above the dado the walls are 
hung with rich Spanish leather, whose golden surface gleams from a frame of ebony, 
a narrow cornice of black wood below the ceiling repeating the motif of the dado. 
The ceiling is white and panelled like that of the first hall ; the floor is of dark 
polished inlaid wood; while the massive simplicity of the dark leather furniture 
maintains the rich subdued character of the room. Upon the sideboard of brown 




THE INNEH HALL AND STAIRCASE. 



JOHN PETTIE, K.A. 



171 



wood are disposed many pieces of blue china, and a few china plates are hung 
upon the walls. These are, however, chiefly decorated with pictures in oils. Here 
hang the two bonny portraits of Mr. Pettie's sons, a portrait of his wife by 
Orchardson, Scotch landscapes by MacWhirter and other friends. A wide window 
just opposite the doors, and facing Fit/John's Avenue, gives light to this room, a 




THE DUnXO-KOOH. 



little subdued by draperies of yellowish-green. The fireplace is of wood, black, as is 
fitting to match with the walls. It is evident in this room, as indeed throughout 
the house, that Mr. Pettie, while by no means losing sight of beauty, declines to 
attain to it at the expense of comfort. 

Once more crossing the inner hall and opening a door facing its fireplace, 
we find ourselves in the outer drawing-room, that from which the artist has 
sketched the inner room beyond. These rooms can be quite closed off from one 
another, not only by the dead gold-coloured curtains we see, but by substantial 



172 THE MODERN SCHOOL OF ART. 

folding-doors. The first room is darker in general effect than the one beyond. 
It is true the walls are papered in light blue-and-white, one of the pretty chintz- 
like patterns now so fashionable ; but the covering of the furniture is more sombre 
than that of the room beyond. The fireplace, whose inner portion is tiled with 
blue-and-white, has an over-mantel that rises in a pointed arch almost to the 
ceiling. It is of black wood, decorated with intarsia, its surface broken by small 
brackets bearing china ornaments. In the centre of this wooden arch, which 
furnishes a handsome frame, hangs a dark oil sketch that at first glimpse looks 
like an Israels: it is, however, the work of the late Paul Chalmers, E.S.A. In the 
comers stand triangular intarsia cabinets, repeating the idea of the fireplace. 
Here, too, is a piano, a cottage one, its front decorated with a worked ornament 
of pomegranate design. Curtains of rich warm colour flank the window. The room 
is small and snug, and produces the effect of being much lived in. Not so 
the room beyond, which, pretty and unconventional as it is, produces rather the 
effect of the ordinary salon. It is a kind of harmony in creams and gold : these 
hues, in various shades of treatment, being repeated by walls, ceiling, and decora- 
tion. The paper is of a small white-and-yellow chintz design ; the ceiling, like 
that of the first room, is a pale chrome; the doors are painted cream colour; 
the furniture is chiefly covered with dead gold reps ; while the windows are hung 
with cretonne curtains of a yellow-and-white pattern. There are five windows, three 
abreast, and one flanking each corner, thus forming a sort of wide window niche, 
and admitting a mass of daylight. There are spindle-legged chairs more effective 
to the eye than pleasant to the back; but there are also low-cushioned chairs 
of modern design and workmanship. Its gem, to our thinking, is the fireplace. It 
is of white wood picked out with burnished gold in the depths of its carving. The 
carving is rather Oriental in design, and reminds us of the decoration of some 
mosque. On the mantelpiece, the over-mantel, and the shelves that flank it, are 
specimens of Oriental pottery and china, of modern Italian earthenware, vases and 
tazzas from the potteries of Ginori, Venetian glass from Murano. In two deep 
niches level with the grate stand slender Oriental jars of peacock blue-green, while 
a spread peacock's tail forms the hearth-screen. Bric-a-brac and china are also 
enclosed in a cabinet of good design. But everything, it will be observed, stands 
in its place, is not strewn about hither and thither, a danger to itself and the 
spectator, as is too often the case to-day. Indeed, the room is rather empty than 
otherwise : there is space to move and to spare, without fear of upsetting or break- 
ing priceless china or furniture. Mr. Pettie's Scotch good sense has stood him in 
good stead in the arrangement of his house. Plants growing in large blue or brass 
pots, some standing on ths floor, that is covered with a carpet of cool blue colour, 
give a touch of natural softness to the apartment. A grand piano fills the window 
niche. Over it is flung a large skin of white and yellow fur, so that in every point 
the leading hue of the room is respected and repeated. Water-colours decorate the 
walls ; nothing therefore disturbs the general subdued cool, fresh aspect. It is 



JOHN PETTIE, R.A. 



173 







lighted at night by gas from brass 
chandeliers and brackets. In the book- 
case we note the complete works oi 
Mr. Pettie's friend and compatriot, 
the author of " Madcap Violet " and 
"Macleod of Dare;" also the works 
of Scott, Carlyle, Dickens, and Burns. 
This house, which makes so good 
a dwelling, and is so pleasant in design 
and execution, was planned by Messrs. 
Vallace and Flockhart, of Bond Street. 
John Pettie was born in Edinburgh 
in 1839, and began his course of regular 
art studies at the age of sixteen, in 
the schools of the Trustees' Academy, 
under Eobert Scott Lander, K.S.A., 
and John Ballantyne, E.S.A. ' Among 
his fellow-students were William Quiller 
Orchardson, Peter Graham, and John 
MacWhirter. Varied and large was the 
capacity possessed by this little knot 
of learners ; and it is pleasant to know 
that the ambition which must have 

inspired them has, in the case of each one of the four, been crowned with success, 

and with the honours of the English Academy. Such 

recognition is as good for ourselves as for our northern 

compatriots, for the large contingent of Scottish pictures 

in our annual exhibition contributes a force and vigour 

that can hardly fail to brace our own artistic 

temper. The first public appearances of Mr. 

Pettie were made early in the seven years of 

his studentship, but were confined to Edinburgh 

until 1861, when he exhibited his first Royal 

Academy work, " The Armourers." In the suc- 
ceeding year he closed his Edinburgh noviciate 

and followed his picture to London ; and not a 

season has since passed without one or more of 

his canvases contributing to the principal show 

of the English art-world. 

The genre of history occupied him for a 

time ; it comprises a rather fascinating family 

of subjects, in which all the wealth of texture, 




VIEW INTO THE DRAWING-ROOM. 




CAH1NKT IX THE URAWIXO-KOOM 



174 



THE MODERN SCHOOL OF ART. 



colour, and picturesque effect of the "costume picture" is united with familiarity of 
incident, dramatic personality of character, and the quaintness of antiquarian humour. 
Like many young artists, he began by succumbing to the facile attractions of 
Cavaliers and Eoundheads, but soon passed from the banalites of those hackneyed 
personages to something fresher and more individual. " What d'ye lack, Madam ? 
What d'ye lack ? " exhibited at Trafalgar Square in 1802, was an amusing piece 




" JACOBITES, 1745." 

of historical genre of the fifteenth century, and represents a gay apprentice of a 
time when London apprentices of spirit were a power in the City, pressing his wares 
upon the ladies after the manner so vividly described in Scott's "Fortunes of Nigel." 
" The Trio," a group of mediaeval itinerant musicians, and " The Tonsure," were also 
humorous. In 1864 Mr. Pettie produced his first work at once serious in subject 
and important in size and manner " George Fox refusing to take the Oath at 
Holker Hall, A.D. 1663." This was followed in 1865 by "A Drumhead Court Mar- 
tial," which gained him a considerable increase of reputation. 

In 1866 his "Arrested for Witchcraft" decided the Academy to elect the 
young painter to the Associateship. Among his pictures of the following year 
may be mentioned " Treason," an admirable bit of rich low-toned colour and 



JOHN PETTIE, R.A. 175 

dramatic intensity, in which the conspirators lean plotting across a table. In a 
few of the artist's later works there is at times no slight touch of melodrama ; a 
little too much emphasis either in the subject or in the execution, with a little 
defect of sincere impulse, making the subtle difference between the dramatic and 
the melodramatic. It is this slight though real danger, or rather liability, which 
has inclined us to consider that Mr. Pettie might do his worthiest work in 
portraiture. His understanding and realisation seem to be somewhat stronger and 
more important than his invention ; the art, therefore, that gives the former faculties 
the amplest employment might be considered more appropriately his own. This 
was somewhat strikingly exhibited in 1877, when his two principal works were 
" The Threat " and the noble portrait of the Roman Catholic Bishop of Birming- 
ham. There was a certain triviality in the figure of the mediaeval filibuster, but 
the portrait was full of the greatest and most sustained and solid power. In equal 
contrast stand the hardly interesting " State Secret " and the magnificent portrait 
of Mr. Taylor Whitehead, exhibited at Burlington House in 1878. The latter is 
one -of those rare and essentially immortal works in which the achievement is 
decisively and definitely unquestionable ; it has a comprehensive completeness of 
easy execution and a flower-like beauty of colour which are hardly to be surpassed 
iu Eubens's greatest portraits. 

To resume our chronological review of Mr. Pettie's works : in 1867 was also 
painted " The Doctor ; " in 1868 came " Pax Vobiscum," " Tussle with a Highland 
Smuggler," " Weary with Present Cares and Memory Sad," and " The Rehearsal ; " 
1869 saw another grave and deliberate historical picture, " The Disgrace of Cardinal 
Wolsey," and " The Gambler's Victim ; " 1870 produced " A Sally," " 'Tis Blythe 
May-Day," and " Touchstone and Audrey " the quaint and ungainly lovers of " As 
You Like It " being especially adapted to Mr. Pettie's love of the drolly-picturesque 
or sympathetic-grotesque. The other pastoral couple in the same play Sylviiis and 
Phoebe, who contrast so prettily with the far more realistic rustic pair made the 
subject of a picture two years later. In 1871 " The Pedlar," " The Love-Song," 
and " Scene in the Temple Gardens" appeared, the latter attracting much interest. 
" The Gipsy's Oak " and " Terms to the Besieged " were the work of 1872. At 
once painful and grotesque was the motive of the last-named striking composition, 
which our readers may remember as an advancing group of half-starved men issuing 
from their dearly-defended walls to offer capitulation and conclude such terms as 
they shall be able to obtain. If this is comedy, it is comedy of the grimmest 
kind. " The Flag of Truce," " Sanctuary," and " Midnight Watch " were the 
pictures of 1873; "Juliet and Friar Lawrence," "A State Secret," and "Ho! ho! 
ho ! " of 1874. 

The following year Mr. Pettie's election to the full membership of the Royal 
Academy took place ; in this, as in the Associateship, he distanced by two years 
the one of his contemporaries and fellow-students Mr. Orchardson whose aims 
and characteristics accorded most nearly with his own. "Jacobites, 1745," with his 



I? G THE MODERN SCHOOL OF ART. 

diploma picture (now in the Diploma Gallery at Burlington House), and the " Scene 
in Hal o' the Wynd's Smithy," marked the event of his election. The artist's paint- 
ings of 1877 were brilliant. "Hunted Down" was the single figure slightly melo- 
dramatic, perhaps of a spent fugitive in a wild mountain glen ; the colour, though 
a little too broken in the carnations, was strong and harmonious. " A Knight of 
the Seventeenth Century" was a portrait of the artist's Mend, Mr. William Black. 
Mr. Pettie was, we believe, the originator of the fancy for modern portraits in 
medieval costume which spread so quickly in London a short time ago, and, after a 
short reign, disappeared as quickly. "A Lady of the Seventeenth Century" was 
perhaps more successful as a picture, and may be taken as one of the first examples 
of the artist's brilliant manner adopted of late years ; if the " Knight " was almost 
obtrusively clever in execution, the "Lady" was wonderfully "taking" in its 
breadth, refinement, brightness, and massiveness, and its indefinable deliglitfulness of 
colour and touch. "A Sword and Dagger Fight" was an admirably-painted bit 
of wickedness in costume ; the two enemies are fighting to the death, and there is a 
business, a wariness, and thoroughness in their attitudes most excellently rendered. 

In 1878 were exhibited " Eob Eoy " and "The Laird," among others; and 
in 1879 the artist achieved perhaps the most notable of all his successes. " The 
Death- Warrant" was one of those dignified groups which have all the character and 
deliberate individuality, without the uneasiness or ill -disguised artificiality, of por- 
trait groups; the heads were fine and simple in painting, but almost too reserved 
in expression for a dramatic picture ; and this reticence was also remarkable in 
the face of the boy-king (Edward VI.), who looks away, hesitating in his mourn- 
ful work. It must, however, be remembered that most of the expressions in 
these heads are negative expressions, and that to paint a negative is as difficult 
as to prove one. The statesmen who are seated at the king's council have no 
emotions stirred by the matter in hand, which is merely a rather graver kind of 
business to them, and too much interest or vivacity of look would have spoilt 
the delicacy of the painter's meaning ; the young king's eyes wear a look so 
mixed and reserved that to some persons it seemed to be full of the meaning of 
the moment, while others did not succeed in finding more in it than a certain 
rather vacant hesitancy. Mr. Pettie is a master of accessories and texture-paint- 
ing, a fact on which we have not insisted in view of his higher attainments and 
of the self-denial and mastery with which he can, when he will, make his 
wonderful manipulative work efface itself from the spectator's attention. Less 
important works are " Trout-Fishing " and " The General's Head-Quarters ; " but 
even when Mr. Pettie is not at his brilliant best, he is strongly and strikingly 
attractive ; no cruder colour and no more ignorant touch can stand near his work ; 
his pictures have the peculiar quality of being most killing neighbours in an exhi- 
bition. But such killing is of good service ; it must inevitably have the effect of 
modifying and at last of banishing the cold, raw, grating tones which have so long 
prevailed on the walls of London galleries. 




Reynolds pinx 



LORD HEATHF1ELD. 




I 

en 

5" 

Q 



b 



52 



178 



THE MODERN SCHOOL OF ART. 



In the year of the " Death- Warrant " Mr. Pettie sent a number of line 
portraits to the lloyal Academy, and in the following season his best work was a 
portrait group in movement " Mrs. Dominick Gregg and Children." The lady is 
in a long black velvet dress, with the full lace at the throat and the flat mob-cap 
which were worn by young matrons in 1880. She is running forward, her movement 
being somewhat interrupted by one little girl who clings to her right wrist, while 
another draws her forward by the left hand, inviting her to a game of battledore 
and shuttlecock. The little ones have black stockings and light frocks. The whole 




&k 

' 





x; 




TKOUT-FISIIINO AT AHHAN. 



picture is worked up to a very high point of brilliancy, both in flesh and draperies, 
and the spiritedness of the composition is very pleasant. With this were exhibited 
a portrait of Mrs. Fox White, "Before the Battle," and "His Grace." The latter 
is of course a costume picture, the time being that of Charles I., or thereabouts ; 
very becoming to the model's long limbs is the fantastically shaped, but simple and 
distinguished dress. And to the face the artist has given an air of very decided 
hauteur. Next year appeared the companion picture, " Her Grace," making a 
pendant to its predecessor, as the " Lady of the Seventeenth Century " made a 
pendant to the "Knight." "Her Grace" is a most charming youthful lady, with 
her hair in the shower of curls of that period long at the sides, short in front, and 
flowing in the artfully artless manner of which the ladies of Henrietta Maria's court 
had the secret. The satin of the dress is one of Mr. Pettie's most brilliant bits of 



JOHN PETTIE, R.A. 179 

texture-painting. " Before his Peers " is a single figure, upright, dramatic in ex- 
pression. Clad in black velvet and wearing his cap, a dignified Peer under accusation 
stands speaking, with his papers held open, to which he points. The pictures of 
1882 were important subjects. In " The Duke of Monmouth's Interview with James 
II." the effect is very striking. The monarch stands on the right, in an apartment 
of his palace, with Monmouth on the ground at his feet. The light comes in 
through blue curtains, with reflections on the polished floor. " The Palmer," though 
a large and very picturesque canvas, is perhaps less successful. Here Mr. Pettie 
shows us the interior of an English knight's dwelling in the first centuries after the 
Conquest. The place has almost all the rudeness and roughness of a hall in a 
Saxon house before Norman manners were known ; the floor is earthen, and the 
huge fireplace has no decoration in its construction. A fair-haired knight sits 
back upon a couch of skins, with his wife, in the stately and modest robes of her 
station and time, upright at his side. Farther off stands the little heir. Opposite 
to his host and hostess sits the pilgrim, just home from the Holy Land no 
Crusader, but a veritable devotee, with the staff and scrip of his long journey. He 
tells them of his perils by land and sea, stretching out both hands in the energy 
of narration. The picture is admirably painted, but the conception is rather con- 
ventional. The attitude of the little boy, for instance, is precisely the stock attitude 
of a boy in an English picture hands behind back, feet apart, head up. It does 
not show much of that fresh and initiative observation of nature which gives 
to the simplest attitude and most familiar action an incomparable charm in 
art. 

In 1883 Mr. Pettie exhibited " The Hansom," an old man and his daughter in 
a cave, at the mercy of bandits; "A Queen's Scholar, Westminster ;" and "Dost 
know this Water-fly? " The latter presents to us that dainty Osric of whom weary 
Prince Hamlet uses the scornful words, and whom Mr. Pettie has here dressed so 
exquisitely that we suspect he had almost as much pleasure in designing the clothes 
as the young Danish courtier could have had in wearing them. See how perfectly 
the shining satins are cut, with what cunning points and ruffles, and what a 
triumph is that feathered cap which the Prince could not persuade him to put to 
its right use ! And it is from that extremely pretty mouth that those nice phrases 
came about Laertes, and the rapier and dagger. And it is by such a messenger, 
through the appointment of Shakespeare, that the challenge comes which is the signal 
for Hamlet's death for the chance revenge, chance retribution, and chance ending 
which closes the great tragedy. He was a rash critic, by the way, who once asserted 
that the great dramatists do not bring about their catastrophes through accidents 
or by means of trivial accessories. For this can hardly be said in view of the use 
made by Shakespeare of Othello's handkerchief and of this chance-medley of the 
close of Hamlet. In this respect the greatest of all drcimatists did not compose 
life to suit the theories of art, but gave a stern dignity to the wayward truths of 
life. And the appearance of the fatal Osric with his summons for Hamlet's soul 




I 



c? 
o 



H 

CO 

-1 



a 
H 



JOHN PUTTIK, R.A. 



181 



to vengeance, death, and eternity, is a touch of mortal grotesqueness which is finer 
than any fair form of art. 

Soon after came "Charles Surface Sells his Ancestors," a scene from The School 
for Sea ml a I, and with this was " Challenged." It shows the bed-room of an unlucky 
young rake who has been in some quarrel over-night, and has forgotten all about 
it ; but his levee is rudely in- 
terrupted by the arrival of a 
cartel. The messenger who has 
brought it is just disappearing 
through the door, and the youth 
stands at a loss, in his beautiful 
satin knee-breeches and his mag- 
nificent dressing-gown, leaning 
against his four-post bed. His 
action, as he puts his hand to 
his head, is expressive of nothing 
more dramatic than a headache. 
In the same exhibition (1885) 
Mr. Pettie had the large num- 
ber, for him, of six pictures. He 
contributed, besides the above, 
another School for Scandal sub- 
ject "Sir Peter and Lady 
Teazle Wrangling " : 

Sir Peter. Zounds, madam, you hail 
no taste when you married me. 

Lady Teazle. Very true, Sir Peter. 

Others of the artist's pic- 
tures were the portraits of Mr. 
J. G. Orchar, of Mr. Garrett 
Marten, and of Mr. Bret Harte. 
In 1886 he had again six works 
portraits of Mr. James Ander- 
son, of Mr. Ritchie, M.P., and 

of Mr. Newson Garrett, with two subjects. " The Chieftain's Candlesticks " is a 
torchlight study of wild Highlanders holding aloft the flambeaux of the chief's 
festivities ; and in " The Musician " Mr. Pettie has drawn a composer meditating 
upon his own speedily coming death : 

" Alas for those that never sing, 
But die with all their music in them ! " 




" DOST THOtJ KNOW THIS WATEU-FLY F " 



The reader will recognise the pretty lines that close Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes's 



182 



THE MODERN SCHOOL OF ART. 



poem. But the poet's words had reference not to singers in the literal sense, but 
to the millions of women who never give articulate expression to the vague aspirations 
common to womanhood. Dr. Holmes, we all remember, is very sympathetic with 
women as such, and is evidently inclined to be tolerant of the least forcible feminine 
literature as a method of relief to the sadness of half the human race. This is 
decidedly kind on the part of a man of letters so devoted to the literary art. 

Mr. Pettie seldom take^asubject so suggestive of emotion as is this last- 
mentioned ; or rathei^s j^lic trenis of are as a rule brisk rather than 

J&K 8^S^ 

sentimental. But K Bkat with a technique so assured and accom- 
plished as his he isj| ^active he will, without danger of sacrificing 
the purely pictoriu 

Yet even jiiP8 H^^^^^k we would not have Mr. Pettie presume 

too grcidly <m |i|B ubted successes. Mr. Euskin, certainly 

to be ranked ;ig jessed a word of expostulation to his 

brother ScotchnB ftsv, there's a wrinkle, quite essential to 

the expression, I fcy a projecting ridge of paint instead 

of a proper darll pWpicture ("Jacobites, 1745), Mr. Euskin 

says and says ^ |^ as good as a piece of old William 
Hunt." 





A LOOK AT THE MODEL. 

(Drawn by the Aniit.) 



E. J. GREGORY. A.R.A. 

HE artistic work of one who is among the youngest of the Associates 
of the Academy is noticeable and delightful not only because Mr. 
Gregory differs from so many of his brethren by the extent of his 
achievements, but also because he is peculiarly free from the preoccu- 
pations which are wont to limit the efforts and harass the imaginations 
of cultivated people. We are told, and can well believe, that Mr. 
Gregory is among the best read men in London among the most widely read 
but if he has read much, at least it has not, like the character in " Faust," 
been " dreadfully much." He has not been overpowered. Through neither litera- 
ture nor society has he submitted himself unduly to influences which are seduc- 
tive and gentle, but which often end by debilitating. In the last quarter of the 
nineteenth century he has had the extreme courage to see the world with his 
own eyes. The Art and Letters of the past have given him a cultivation that 




184 THE MODERN SCHOOL OF ART. 

he has been strong enough to hear. They have not destroyed his individuality: 
they have hardly affected it. His forerunners have, indeed, taught him. Now in 
Italy and now in Holland, he has seen their work with the admiration which no 
fairly observant person can withhold from the art of Titian or that of Jan Steen. But 
the poetic realism of the Venetian has left him as free as has the more prosaic 
fidelity of the Dutchman. Feebler, for we will not say more sensitive, personalities 
have discovered in Botticelli or Pollajuolo qualities to which they have been obliged 
to submit. The pupil has declared himself when he has recognised the master. Mr. 
Gregory, it would seem, is nobody's pupil. 

The circumstances of Mr. Gregory's early days, his early training, and the nature 
of his literary education, his first artistic pursuits all have had the tendency to 
send or to keep him among modern things, to engage him chiefly in translating 
into more or less beautiful colour and line an every-day experience and no remote 
vision. The son of an engineer, and born in a modern seaport town, Southampton, 
his literary culture gained chiefly for himself, owing nothing to universities and 
little to Academic men, the delusion has never been encouraged within him that 
the age in which he exists is an age whose influences it is necessary to avoid, 
and, accordingly, when another generation than his own takes note of his art and 
estimates it, it will be found to contain an extraordinarily ample share of the accurate 
yet really pictorial record of the "very form and pressure" of the time in which 
it was produced. In it will be the signs of the keen vision in it is the precise 
yet beautiful rendering of much even of what is trivial and accidental in the 
life of the moment. In so far as it belongs to genre, it belongs to that which 
is concerned with tlie things which its creator has actually known. Of genre 
there are, it may be said, two kinds historic genre and the genre of the day. 
Genre can never look forward. It is only theological or so-called "religious" paint- 
ing that can be concerned with the future. Genre has the choice of looking back 
to the past or looking to the present. It belongs, therefore or, upon the surface, 
seems to belong to that order of painting which approaches most nearly to the 
most approved of modern novels. It illustrates daily life. But there is this dis- 
tinction to remember that with the main therne of the modern novel, the tracking 
of the sentiment or of the passion of love, the art of Mr. Gregory hardly deals, 
and that with Mr. Gregory, or with any painter who works in his spirit, that which 
is only episode or slighter incident in the novel or the comedy becomes, on the 
face of it, a main theme. A scene which is a mere link, one link out of many, 
in the written fiction, becomes, in the painted picture as in "A Kehearsal " say, 
or like the flirtation in " Dawn " presumably the whole subject. But then, again, 
what distinguishes Mr. Gregory from the feebler or shallower painter of similar 
things is that such a scene is not at bottom his whole subject. Often his real 
subject is rather the selected combination of colour, line, and light. The novelist 
and he may have the same story, but they see it in different ways treat it for 
different ends. 



E. J. GREGORY, .!./;..!. 1*:. 

The outward aspect, therefore, of the things and persons of the day and not 
so much their inner significance has coine to be the material out of which Mr. 
Gregory weaves his work. But he is drawn, apparently, much more by an unerring 
instinct, than by a recognised conviction, to the outward aspect of the present instead 
of to the outward aspect of the past ; and it is not too much to say that we may 
see in him about the highest type of painter who addresses himself to the artistic 
vision of his time. He does it very likely without a parti pris. He painted St. 
George and he painted Sir Galahad years ago, and, as his is a personality flexible 
even to changefulness and instability, it would not astonish us in the least if he 
painted them again to-morrow. But for the last few years at all events, and pro- 
bably for most of the years that are to come, Gregory will be found but little 
devoted to that art which has monopolised the title of " imaginative." Not for him 
the world of the past St. George, Sir Galahad, and the Norse pirates of his earlier 
labours for a while he has bid them good-bye. 

In the " Norse Pirates " and one or two kindred subjects, exhibited at the 
Institute of Painters in Water-Colours a few years since, Mr. Gregory passed, so 
to say, his needed examinations, took his degree, proved his capacity to do, quite 
as well as other people, what has been done before, and what will be done again. 
We are not sorry that the strong young painter, with his whole career before him, 
offered up these respectable sacrifices on the conventional altar of imaginative art. 
It has, at all events, removed from the opponents of the work to which he has later 
betaken himself, the opportunity of asserting that his eventual selection of the 
life of the day is a matter of hard necessity and not of artistic choice. He could 
have dealt as creditably as others with that which he had never beheld, and, unsup- 
ported by experience, could have produced, with great cleverness, a fictitious art. 
But by the remarkable picture known as " Dawn," which was shown at Mr. 
Deschamps' gallery, it became evident that Mr. Gregory's peculiar skill was in the 
discerning of all that is most artistic and all that is most piquant in the modern 
life of cities in the existence of a society that cannot claim to be unsophisticated, 
that cannot pretend even to the ambition to be simple. " Dawn " catches the 
flirtation of a night at its last and most critical moment. The scene, very likely, 
is some big villa in the Regent's Park ; the immediate place is a large bow- 
windowed drawing-room, in which, through the drawn blinds, the first light of the 
pale cold morning enters to struggle with the glare of the chandeliers. Tawdry 
curtains drape the recess. At the keyboard of a grand piano, the paid musician, 
detained too long from the humble bed that awaits him in his lodgings in Soho 
or Camden Town, half dozes as he plays, and it seems that nobody dances, for there 
are but two other figures, and these, standing by the curve of the piano, are now 
in their flirtation's most violent phase. He is middle-aged ; has seen the world ; 
been everywhere ; done everything. She is young, but perhaps a trifle too much 
eveillee or is it only that it is very piquant for intelligent freshness to listen to 
a superabundance of knowledge ? Anyhow, his flattery has ceased to be guarded ; 

53 



186 THE MODERN SCHOOL OF ART. 

and the attitude of her attention has ceased to be discreet. If the worn but ener- 
getic gentleman had been a little less obviously a roue, and the slim young lady 
a little less absolutely mundane, the story might have been pleasanter ; but in no 
case could the story chosen have been more effectively told. And this is the first 
instance of a faculty of Mr. Gregory's of which so much must be seen hereafter 
his power of giving grace even to the most commonplace of modern raiment. Even 
the man's trousers come well in the composition, while the dress of the lady, the 
stiffened yet moderately flexible bodice, the floods of frilling, the long trailing skirts, 
alternately express and hide the figure in ways that are at the command of only a 
consummate draughtsman. And here, too, is the first introduction and it is at 
once a prominent one of " that sceptre of the woild, the fan of beauty." It is 
opened here, and held aloft, almost as a first line of defence there is still a 
barrier between the too sudden lover and the too unadvised fair. In the "Kehearsal " 
it is open, but for the time without significance, for the attention of the figures, 
merely spectators, is concentrated on the repetition of the play. It has its part, 
though, in the composition in the wonderful spiral of dress and accessory. And 
in a third picture, a direct and complete portrait of a quite different model of a 
lady who is the daughter of Mr. Gregory's staunchest upholder and most uncompro- 
mising friend Miss Galloway, seated at ease after a long waltz, holds it high, with 
its pale blue feathers against the blond of the head it is lightly closed, but ready 
for service. Mr. Gregory's heroines would never have needed to learn " the exercise 
of the fan," even out of so pleasant a text-book as Addison's Spectator. 

Master, then, of the utility of the fan in artistic design, Gregory is likewise 
master of the employment of the palette. In Mr. Galloway's house, which is a 
museum of Gregory's work, there hangs on the drawing-room wall the remarkable 
water-colour " Last Touches," which appeared at the Institute. It shows the same 
handsome and dissipated and outworn model who is the hero of " Dawn," but this 
time he is made to be a painter, and in the closing hours of the day he is weary 
of his work, of himself, of everything. These last touches they are the very devil, 
you know. There is no such thing as being satisfied. Painter and writer, caring 
for their art, torture themselves over these things. So it is in the drawing. The 
man who faces you, near the machinery of the easel his chair tilted back, and he 
looking at his work sprawls with wide-opened legs, boots and great knees thrust 
into the foreground, a brush in one hand and in the other a palette. Behind him, 
at the remote fireplace of the beautiful studio, stands a young woman in evening 
dress, not worried like the artist, not tortured at all, but only a little bored lest 
she should be late for the theatre. The anxious preoccupation of the one person, 
the trifling preoccupation of the other the suggestion of two lives led together, 
with interests a good deal separated has in it enough of the dramatic. It is an 
excellent subject, even as subjects are estimated by the lovers of story. But we are 
evidently not wrong in our surmise that the real motive of the picture was the curve 
of the palette ; the foreshortened curve ; its place in the composition. Objects in 






I 



foe colour 
Fortunate contrasts^ 
[ual in colour. We hi 
all events the disappl 
Js the portrait of Mr. Al 
We must admit the inequj 
'not a colourist primarily - 
Tte, the old Adam of the 
Jurist chiefly a ses heures. ~B\ 
they come they are exquisj 
PFhe Mouse in the Piano " 

to recommend it : action, vi] 
^rd of a trifling thing. His pij 
man of striped yellow is bj 
^nothing besides, 
series likewise at Mr. Gallop 
Erol over pure and lovely hues, 
le's first impression of it may concej 
fivases are not peculiar : they are not sid 
r's mark. They bear no trace of his havij 
36 of his earlier methods. They are fres] 
)wn work as little as they recall Miss M 
"Whistler's beautiful and fantastic i 
^Venice just the habitual Ver 
It is not idealised orjJ^I 



A REHEARSAL. 

Permission nj \\'. Vivian, Esq.) 



188 THE MODERN SCHOOL OF ART. 

themselves generally allowed to be beautiful are here, as so often in Mr. Gregory's 
work, subordinated to the due display of that whose interest is more lately discovered. 
The young woman generally allowed to be beautiful nay, from whom beauty is 
generally exacted she is thrust into the background. The canopy of the ceiling ; 
the decorations of the mantelpiece all background. In the foreground are the 
straight lines of the easel, the palette's curve, the great extended legs. 

Then again, the portrait of Mr. Gregory himself, which is one of our illustra- 
tions. Is not the employment of the palette in that composition as original as it 
is successful ? And the crossed leg again, so close to the spectator : is not that 
almost as bold and as fresh, in a modern portrait ? The muscularity of the thing 
the sweeping and sturdy line of it takes us back to the later Renaissance, to the 
tombs of the Medici, to the sculptures of Gian Bologna. Further, there is a distinct 
piquancy in the union of this broad and large design with a finish not only so ex- 
pressive but so dainty as JiVfie" ^jwhich the head gives evidence. 

The keen percep^oncentrated oiul muscular action and of a fortunate " bony 
structure" (which is/p sition in the \* of beauty of line) revealed beneath the fold 
nr af.rain rvf ^fJlafnL direct and completV alert perception combined with a faultless 
ighter of Mr. Gregory's considering to treat an every-day folk in 
Galloway, seated at eahat are at the command of very few of 



or strain of modern] 
draughtsmanship, a 
cvery-day ways wit 



srs against the blond of fcH' instance, his Academy picture, the 
.egory's heroines would neV5 "vested interests" of one or other 



the painters of cc 
" Intruders." Ther 

of them to the bouW of so pleasant a text-boolt being threatened by outsiders who 
would like to shared the utility of the fan in a? the water is a-move, the very air 
seems a-flutter, with tWnt of the palette. In Mf.ting of their great white wings. 
The scene is by an isL or k, there hangs on the dra\Winter's Hill, in the morning 
hours, in the freshness a\hes," which appeared at the Iter. In the foreground the 
fashionable modern dress \, n d outworn model who is the>f the house-boat come to 
be reconciled with all that Winter, and in the closing ho The feat is accomplished. 
Some of us will see in theWerything. These last touche^tertaining record of an 
incident of the river. SorneY thing as being satisfied. Paffld, a good deal more 
and a good deal that is differU over these things. So it is iring that the Fates 



have granted us eyes the ma: 



Tiachinery of the easel his chair tihd the deliberate 



pleasure of the capable hand i ff ith wide-opened legs, boots and greatfigure at rest. 
The young girl seen from beh n one hand and in the other a palette. Bv-no draw- 
ing, even of Watteau's, goes 1 beautiful studio, stands a young woman imst have 
been done with delight : with tat, not tortured at all, but only a littUe," if with 
trouble at all. And so with itre. The anxious preoccupation of Ach record the 
subtleties of pretty or characteXe other the suggestion of two. 'plunging into the 
piano, for instance, her head pushed has in it enough of -tfbow and bent-up arm 
thrown back, her skirts a-rustle, as the little hurraing mouse scampers through the 
instrument. And again, the drawing of the ballet girl, with her arm laid along the 
mantelpiece, her figure relaxed in the lounging rest of the bare green-room ; the 



E. J. GREGORY, A.R.A. 189 

eyes directed to the friend whose doffed hat, placed on the mantelshelf, alone 
intrudes iiito the picture. 

Mr. Gregory has shown in other works than those of genre painting his curious 
sensitiveness to unconsidered beauties of line. He has shown it where he has also 
shown a keen appreciation of character in portraiture but it is evidenced still 
more completely in those grey visions of the land and river which allow one to think 
of him sometimes along with Whistler and Wyllie. The gaunt black wooden pier 
or landing-stage that projects into the grey water ; the steamboat lying alongside 
of it ; the water-side sheds, the low, flat shore these are things which (as a 
drawing at Mr. Galloway's proves) Gregory sees as sympathetically as he sees the 
blue stream that hurries down amidst the golden fern and the stones of the moorland, 
or the stretch of tawny and weed-covered rock that lies under a sky of delicate opal. 
The very words that we want to describe these pictures or to hint at them, " blue " 
and "golden," "tawny" and "opal," remind us that we are in the realm of colour. 
Nay, more, these latter pictures not only include colour but give it prominence : 
they are dependent upon its harmonies or its fortunate contrasts. Now Mr. Gregory 
has often been said to be uncertain and unequal in colour. We have had from time 
to time to register his failures in it, or at all events the disappointments that he 
does not invariably spare us. There was the portrait of Mr. Alfred Seymour, for 
instance, and there was the " Piccadilly." We must admit the inequality. Perhaps we 
must even go so far as to say that he is not a colourist primarily that the leaven of 
the old Adam of the Black-aud- White, the old Adam of the Graphic newspaper, 
is strong within him. He is a colourist chiefly d ses lieures. But then "his hours" 
come pretty frequently, and when they come they are exquisitely productive. Mr. 
Galloway's little picture of " The Mouse in the Piano " is beautiful in spite of 
colour. It has everything else to recommend it : action, vivacity, draughtsmanship, 
the original and piquant record of a trifling thing. His picture of the plump blonde 
a little huddled on an ottoman of striped yellow is beautiful because of colour. 
Perhaps it is beautiful for nothing besides. 

The whole Venetian series likewise at Mr. Galloway's is notable as showing 
Gregory's dainty control over pure and lovely hues. But for other things too it is 
notable, though one's first impression of it may conceivably be disappointing. The 
dainty little canvases are not peculiar : they are not signed over every inch of them 
with Gregory's mark. They bear no trace of his having been preoccupied with the 
remembrance of his earlier methods. They are fresh and new and unmanuered, 
recalling his own work as little as they recall Miss Montalba's broad and masculine 
transcript, or Mr. Whistler's beautiful and fantastic vision. They are the Venice 
that is everybody's Venice just the habitual Venice of midday hours, of steady 
sunshine and keen light. It is not idealised or changed, it is simply recorded : now 
the Grand Canal with its rows of palaces ; the marble of glowing slab or writhing 
column ; and now the little side-canal with its work-yard where the boat-builder 
builds the barca of to-day, to which the gondola of old must gradually give place. 



190 THE MODERN SCHOOL OF ART. 

The strength of it is that it is everybody's Venice, painted with a touch so firm 
and precise, and in hues so luminous. 

Still, the Venetian work is at best but brilliant study; the river work at 
Erith and at the mouth of the Medway shows that Mr. Wyllie need not have stood 
aloneanother has been in his path; the Scottish landscape work well, that is 
only another indication of the very wide sympathies of this flexible genius. It is 
none of these we rest upon. They are the work of bye-hours ; they are holiday 
tasks. In portraiture and in genre painting lies the artist's most real force: in 
portraiture, from " Mr. Eley " to " Miss Galloway ; " in genre painting, from " Dawn " 
to "A Eehearsal" and the "Intruders." The portrait of Mr. Eley, which was 
the earliest of his more considerable portraits, was felt, when it was exhibited, to 
reveal in the artist an originality quite as marked and decisive as it disclosed in 
the sitter. Yet the "Miss Galloway" went in everyway beyond it. Its art was 
wholly concealed, and the work itself was only the last result of a long observation. 
Painfully, we believe, and indefatigably, the picture was wrought at weary sitting 
after sitting. Gregory, it seems, is never easy to please, and he knew he had a 
chance here, and did not intend to lose it. He destroyed one canvas. Then, with 
the sitter a little exhausted since we dare not say she was bored with her share 
of the labour, the artist struck into the business again, with a new energy, and 
perhaps the most life-like portrait of a woman done in our time was wrought 
rapidly out of the accumulated knowledge that had seemed for a while to yield so 
little. Doubtless one might often see the face much prettier, but perhaps it is this 
good-natured air of sufferance this " Well now, this really must be the last of 
me " that gives it its extraordinary appearance of truth. The pose of the figure 
is one of absolute ease ; the painting is as good as the draughtsmanship ; it is a 
triumph of execution. Just because it is a triumph of execution it will not reproduce 
without too serious a loss. So we do not attempt a woodcut. But it is well to 
remember that this masterly, refined, and unaffected work was the legitimate 
sensation of a gallery (the Grosvenor) sometimes a little too indulgent to refinement 
burdened by affectation, and to ambition unsupported by force. A real and tangible 
presence was side by side with the ghosts. No wonder, then, that from the eye 
of the mind the ghosts vanished the living presence stayed. 

Perhaps no single genre picture thus far painted by Mr. Gregory makes on 
behalf of its painter quite so unanswerable a claim as that advanced by this portrait. 
For, hitherto, the " Dawn " is of his genre pictures the most serious and the most 
ambitious, and the technical qualities of "Dawn" he has now far surpassed. In 
genre painting it is not so much by a single work that we should be prepared to 
class him as by the manifestation in many works together of many various gifts and 
of that comprehensiveness of spirit, that intellectual and artistic toleration, which 
Mr. Gregory's brush being what it is is the best guarantee for his future. It 
may be that we could wish him hereafter a little less tolerant of red mahogany 
furniture and sordid belongings, and of a Bohemia which is without Bohemia's 



E. J. GREGORY, A. I, '.A. 



191 



justification that it does at least enjoy itself, and improve each shining hour 
in its own particular way. And while welcoming Mr. Gregory's treatment of 
modern attire, we might per- 
haps ask that his choice 
should fall even less fre- 
quently than it does at present 
upon costumes that would be 
voted common in an Oxford 
Street window cheapish silks 
dependent for their garish 
effectiveness upon a prodigi- 
ous amount of dress-making. 
In Mr. Gregory's best por- 
traits the raiment of his 
choice has either the sim- 
plicity of splendid and lasting 
material, or the coquettish 
fashioning demanded by the 
dance dress of a night. Why 
is an eye that understands 
the charm of both indulgent 
occasionally to that which 
has the charms of neither ? 
That is perhaps only an ex- 
aggeration of the tolerance 
and comprehensiveness which 
are Gregory's distinction, and 
it may be it is to be regretted 
only because to the weaker 
brethren it is something of a 
stumbling - block, preventing 
them from receiving all that 
Mr. Gregory's art is excel- 
lently fitted to give. If Mr. 
Gregory had manifested a 
great dramatic faculty the 
sympathy of the large public 

might have been more absolutely his. But as it is, he is dependent practically 
upon the suffrages of the cultivated ; and of the cultivated, many are weak and few 
are strong. When he is truest to himself he paints modern themes, but he is far 
too sincere an artist to treat them meretriciously. Thus it has to be admitted 
in a certain measure he escapes wide popularity. 




192 THE MODERN SCHOOL OF ART. 

Nevertheless, as his election to the Academy Associateship sufficiently proves, 
Gregory must have many admirers ; and these, we may be sure, are the very persons 
out of the motley Forty whom he would wish them to be. We remember years ago 
hearing Mr. Herkomer speak of Mr. Gregory in terms such as only a great artist 
employs of another. Mr. Herkomer, drawing perhaps on his own early experiences, 
was afraid that the popular eye might be distracted by certain obvious clevernesses 
from the special beauty and felicity of Mr. Gregory's canvases, every inch of which 
he admired. No doubt the fear was, in a measure, well founded. Mr. Gregory 
cannot be said to have touched the national heart, and his name is unknown compared 
with the names of many far inferior painters. But at least Mr. Gregory has the 
satisfaction of knowing that the company of discerning sight-seers is ever on the 
increase at our exhibitions, and that these already pay him a homage which his 
past performances extort, and which the promise of his future renders particularly 
safe investment of admiration. 





Casseil &. ConrDar. 







UOONLIOIIT 0V THE SHORE EASTERN' LONG ISLAND. 

(From "Pieturaqve America.'") 




HARRY FENN. 

SANGUINE New Yorker, speculating on the future of his city, will 
generally refer to the Orange Hills in New Jersey as its natural 
boundary towards the south-west. The slopes of this range, he thinks, 
and the rolling country just beyond them to the upper course of Passaic 
river, will yet be occupied by a rich and populous suburb. There are 
already in this quarter so many pleasant villages and scattered residences, 
that the idea is not without a colour of probability. Looking from the crest of the 
hills towards New York, one sees the great plain, through which the Hackensack and 
the Passaic glide, already so thickly sprinkled with dwellings that the confines of 
the cities of New York and Elizabeth and Jersey City are hardly recognisable from 
this distance. When one considers that those cities themselves are but adjuncts 
of New York, and that a large part of the male population of the country as far as 
the eye can reach is composed of men who are New Yorkers during business hours ; 
when one considers, too, that the city itself is barely out of sight, its position being 
indicated by the towers of Brooklyn Bridge, which are visible on a clear day from 

54 



194 



THE MODERN SCHOOL OF ART. 



several of the Orange summits, it hardly seems improper to speak of the district 
as being, even now, a suburb of New York. 

The nearness to the city on the one hand, and to unspoiled Nature on the 
other, has made the district a favourite sketching-ground with New York artists, and 
several of them have, at one time or another, resided there. There is no telling 
how often these dells and crags, these meadows and apple orchards, foregrounds 
rich with wild flowers and bits of faint blue distance, have been painted. Quite 




MR. H. FENN S HOUSE I NORTH AND SOUTH SIDES. 



a long list it would be that should contain the names of all who have visited them, 
season after season, with crayon or brush. And a conspicuous place on it would be 
that which should belong to Mr. Harry Fenn. Through the medium of the illustrated 
magazines everybody has been made familiar with his drawings. It is needless, there- 
fore, to say anything more about them than, simply, that their subjects have been 
taken more often from the neighbourhood of the Orange Hills than from any other 
locality. The old mills, the streams fringed with willows, the spring bloom of the 
orchards, and the autumn fields full of golden-rod and purple asters and scarlet sumach, 
have laid hold on him more firmly than on Bolles or Drake or Moran, perhaps his 
foremost rivals. Hence, no doubt, it is that, after having travelled extensively, in 
America and out of it, he has returned to the Orange Hills to make there his home. 



HARRY FENN. 



195 



With this project in his mind, it is not strange that, of all the many changes 
which had taken place during his absence, none should have made such an im- 
pression on him as those connected with the progress of American domestic 
architecture. There are few who, like him, have recently spent some time abroad, 
who have not remarked this change. And, although improvement is less evident in 
private than in public buildings, though the drawbacks such as accompany every 
change are most perceptible in modern country houses, still, even in these, great 
progress is visible. The older 
country residences along the Atlan- 
tic seaboard are, in many respects, 
well adapted to the climate, and 
not insusceptible of artistic decora- 
tion. They are, however, better 
adapted for summer than for winter 
weather, and it is difficult to supply 
the colour and the appearance of 
comfort demanded by modern taste 
without detracting from their some- 
what Quakerish elegance. One fresh 
from European experiences can 
hardly but feel that the beauty of 
colonial mouldings and carvings has 
been somewhat exaggerated, while a 
uniform coat of white or grey 
paint, indoors and out, is apt to 
strike him as rather chilly in effect. 
The common disposition of the main 
hall, wider than in England, adds 
unnecessarily to the discomfort to 
be experienced in an old-fashioned 

American house in winter. Running athwart the building, from front to rear, it 
occasions an increasing current of cold air through the middle of the house, which 
may be moderated, indeed, but only by double doors and at a considerable expense 
for fuel. Now, although the younger architects of America, as might be expected 
of men who have broken with tradition, have quite generally fallen into an un- 
chastened, mongrel style, full of affectations and overladen with bad ornament, still 
this much may be said for them, that they have almost as generally sought to 
secure comfort and convenience as well as a picturesque outline, and a warm and 
harmonious scheme of colour as well as an abundance of rather cheap decoration. 
Here and there, indeed, common sense and good taste have so far prevailed that 
only a carping criticism can find much to decry. It is because it belongs to the 
smaller class, and may afford a good idea of what American architects are aiming 




THE OROV.N-D PLAN. 



190 THE MODERN SCHOOL OF ART. 

at in domestic design, that it has been thought well to give here a description 
of Mr. Fenn's house illustrated hy drawings furnished by himself. 

Like most American country houses, alas! the building is wooden. The 
Americans have hardly, as yet, arrived at the stone age. As will be seen by 
reference to our illustration, it has two main storeys, with a basement and a 
roomy attic. The two views here given show the house to be as picturesque as 
it is really desirable it should be, standing, as it does, among such picturesque 
surroundings. But a comparison of them with the ground-plan will show that 
its interesting projections and recesses result logically from the most con- 
venient possible disposition of the space to be roofed in. Considering that, in the 
American climate, the piazza is as important as the chimney, a happier disposition 
can hardly be imagined. You enter by a porch sheltered on two sides by the 
building itself, and on the third and fourth by the rising slope of the hill and by a 
skilfully-arranged screen of evergreens. The roof of this porch makes one con- 
tinued curve with the gable which crowns the projection containing the stairs with 
which it communicates. From the vestibule you advance into the square hall 
which, as a hall should, gives you immediate entrance ^to parlour and dining-room, 
piazza and staircase. The roof above the hall rises higher than that of any other 
portion of the building, and is further distinguished by the turret-like cap of the 
two-storeyed piazza, which is really an adjunct of it. The attic under this roof is 
Mr. Fenn's studio, and the space under the cap of the tower is utilised for storing 
canvases, &c. Exteriorly, the woodwork of the cottage is painted a dark brown ; 
the plastered surfaces, plainly indicated in the drawing, have, unfortunately, been 
disturbed by some meaningless incised forms, intended as ornament ; but these may 
be easily covered up by a fresh coat of plaster. Some vines, which have only just 
been planted, will eventually hide a good part of the exterior surface in any case ; 
and their fresh green will make an acceptable contrast with the brown and grey of 
the building. 

The colour-effect of the interior is already all that could be wished for. % Much 
of it is undoubtedly due to the artistic arrangement of Mr. Fenn's choice though 
small collection of bric-a-brac, and to the draperies of doors and windows. But, as 
it left the hands of the architect, Mr. Ficken, it must have appeared a pleasant 
and inviting interior. The wainscoting of the hall, its ceiling, and the woodwork 
of the stairs, are of Georgia pine varnished to a fine golden hue, which strikes the 
keynote for all the three principal rooms. The wall above the wainscoting is a 
cream tint, with panelling of yellowish matting. In the dining-room this last is 
replaced by the painted surface of the wall, here a light salmon colour ; and a 
frieze is simulated by placing, on a narrow shelf, a row of blue-and-white Delft and 
Spanish-Moorish platters. A few fine pieces of old Nankin blue-and-white porcelain 
may be admired on the mantelshelf of the dining-room ; and a number of prints in 
red ink, after drawings by Mr. Burne Jones, occupy the remainder of the wall-space. 
The drawing-room is mostly in warm greys, corresponding with the Japanese 



HARRY FENN. 



197 



portiere with its pattern of waves and tortoises in black-and-white, and with the 
window of opalescent glass, and bookcases curtained with Japanese brocade. The 
unplastered brick of the hall chimney should be remembered when forming a con- 
ception of the harmony of warm subdued tones furnished by the architect, to 
which Mr. Fenn has added little but blue and green and gold, his share of the 
decoration culminating in the tail of a magnificent stuffed peacock, which 
depends from its perch on the staircase window-sill. The over-mantel is in stamped 
and gilt Japanese leather. 




THE HALL, LOOKIXG INTO TUB DINING-UOOM. 



The upper rooms are all in the same light golden yellow tone; but each 
has its individual effect, due to its outlook or to its decoration, or to both. 
From a railed platform on the roof of the wing which contains the offices and 
the servants' rooms, a view may be had almost as wide as that from the summit 
of the neighbouring hill. 

Among this artist's works in black-and-white perhaps the best known in Eng- 
land are those which illustrate "Picturesque Europe" and "Picturesque America." 
Seeking, as he was almost bound to do, the panoramic or "viewy" aspects of land- 
scape (from which the contemporary artists generally shrink as most difficult to 
treat in an individual and interesting manner), Mr. Fenn has, nevertheless, given to 
his scenes so strong a charm of character, that the " viewiness " is never disagreeable. 
In the American landscapes, it is true, the solitariness of the places and the 




g 

o 
3 



-i 
K 

H 
I 



HARRY FENN. 



grandeur of tho natural features give an almost inevitable air of grandiose con- 
ventionality. This is very observable, for instance, in the mountain peaks, abrupt 
and lofty, and the lonely pine-trees of " Inkermann's Ravine." True to Nature the 
view may be ; but this Nature on a large scale is precisely what conventional art 






\' at,' 




THE PORT OF MESSINA. 
(From "Picturesque Eurofe.") 



is fond of imagining. 
Therefore, however 
real, primeval Ameri- 
can scenery has in 
pictures an air of 

the cheap ideal. Now, it is the value and the wonder of Italy that there the 
elegance of a perfectly ideal landscape is combined with all that charm of 
incident and accident which is the individuality of a scene. The combination 
is altogether unique. Classical forms in mountain and tree and sea, a kind of 
composition and arrangement of lines which have been the very school and rule 
of artists, are united there with all possible quaintness and unexpectedness the 
very personality of landscape. And there, too, man with his dwellings and his 



200 



THE MODERN SCHOOL OF ART. 



toil adds another beauty of familiarity familiarity which is never vulgar. Thus, 
whatever seems conventional in Mr. Fenn's views of American mountains in their 
solitude, disappears from his work when he is treating Italian mountains reigning 
over Italian homesteads, populous Italian landscapes full of corn and wine and 
oil. He seems too witness the foreground of aloes in "The Port of Messina" 




IXKERMAXX 8 ItAVIXE. 

(From " Picturesfjue America.") 



to be particularly sensible of the character of Italian vegetation, which is a 
charm, not of riches or opulence of foliage, but of shape and character. Strange 
to say, it has remained for artists of our own day to recognise the distinctive 
beauty of vegetation which is locally Italian. A generation ago, English painters 
imported into Italian air their own notions of foliage large rounded forms of 
abundant forest trees ; whereas the line, the form, the very style of Italy, are ex- 
pressed in the thin, delicate, distinguished figures of pines, olives, canes, cypresses, 
and aloes. Nothing richer than the ilex is common there ; and though the ilex has 
abundant leaves, yet those leaves, with their small, acute forms, their fine accents, 
are altogether Italian in character and different from the roundness of elm or aspen. 



IIAHHY ri:\\. 



201 



]\Ir. Fenn, in a word, though he deals in the panoramic, deals in it with u 
charming intelligence, with a respect for the classic at once, and a love of the 
familiar. 

American painters of the old school have been better known in England than 
those of the new, until quite recent years, when the success at the Salon of ]\1 r. 
Sargent and of a brilliant little group with him, altogether "in the movement," made 
an echo in London. Previously no American names since the days of Leslie had 
been so familiar amongst us as those of Church and Mignot, so that transatlantic 
painting had associations with the scenic and rather bygone style of art above 
referred to. It was the same with literature. Fenimore Cooper's romances were 
universally known, if not quite so widely read ; and it is only of late years that 
England has begun to recognise the true National school of American literature, 
which is as realistic as it is delicate. The transatlantic novel and the transatlantic 
picture have developed into something essentially and excellently modern, which is 
surely what the world had a right to expect. 




PITCH MOUNTAIN, LAKE OEOIIOB. 

(From " Picturesque America.") 



55 




(From a Photograph by A. E. Fradelle.) 



BRITON RIVIERE, R.A. 

HAT the name of Briton Eiviere should suggest to some minds that the 
bearer of it is a Frenchman is not strange. The suggestion, however, has 
only the remotest foundation in fact, and it would be difficult to find a more 
thorough specimen of an Englishman than the eminent artist himself. The 
circumstance that he is a descendant of an old Huguenot family, which emigrated to 




BRITON RIVIERE, R.A. 203 

and settled in this country two hundred years ago, on the revocation of the Edict of 
Nantes by Louis XIV., is the whole and sole plea that could be set up by France 
for claiming him as her son a plea surely entirely invalid. His grandfather, Mr. D. 
V. Riviere, was a student at the Royal Academy, where he gained a medal, and ex- 
hibited, later on, many works of great merit in water-colour. William son of this 
gentleman (and brother of H. P. Riviere, of the "Old Water-Colour"), born in London 
in 1806, and father of Mr. Briton Riviere following the footsteps of his sire, even- 
tually became the head of the drawing school at Cheltenham College, and, later on, by 
his zeal and energy at Oxford, managed to get art introduced into the curriculum 
of the university. Prior to this he had been favourably known in London through 
his works for the competition for decorating the Houses of Parliament. Thus the 
present inheritor of the honoured name found in his father the most natural and 
the fittest of masters, and he tells us that from an early age (he was born in 
London, August 14th, 1840) he studied drawing and painting first at Cheltenham 
during the nine years he was there, and then at Oxford. The classic influence 
of the latter place was not without its effect on the young artist. He became a 
member of the university, graduating B.A. in 1867, and M.A. in 1873. His 
university career, however, had in nowise tempted him from his devotion to art. 
In the years 1858 and 1859 he exhibited at the Royal Academy pictures entitled 
" Rest from Labour," " Sheep on the Cotswolds," and " On the Road to Gloucester 
Fair ; " but it was not until 1866 that his work obtained much recognition, or was 
so hung as to allow of its critical examination. "The Poacher's Nurse," a dog 
licking his sick master's hand, was sufficiently well placed to show the excellent 
promise which its execution gave ; and in the following year (1867) one at least of 
the compositions exhibited by the artist fulfilled this promise, and at once gained 
for him a large meed of public approbation. It was entitled " The Long Sleep " 
(hung at the oil exhibition of the Dudley), and though extremely painful in 
sentiment, it left no doubt of his powers. An old man, having died sitting in his 
chair, is watched with wondering disquiet by his two faithful dogs, whose intelligence, 
displayed in the expression of their eyes, evidently divines already that all is not 
right, and whose attitude hints plainly at the depths of sorrow into which they 
will be plunged when they have realised the truth. 

A water-colour drawing, now in the collection at Soiith Kensington, called "A 
Game of Fox and Geese," originally exhibited at the Dudley Gallery in 1868, 
carried Mr. Riviere's reputation prosperously on, until the Royal Academy's first 
year at Burlington House in 1869 found him represented again by a pathetic 
subject simply named " Prisoners," a dog and his master, the indissoluble bond of 
sympathy between them under misfortune being the prominent sentiment expressed. 
An important engraving by Stacpoole has made everybody familiar with the chief 
work of the painter in 1870. We have all been touched by " Charity," and have 
regarded with rising emotion the outcast child upon the street-doorstep sharing 
her last crust with two equally outcast dogs. This picture was awarded a medal 



204 



THE MODERN SCHOOL OF ART. 



at the International Exhibition of Vienna. Continuing to devote some time to 
water-colour, Mr. Eiviere showed, as in the "Fox and Geese," that, notwith- 
standing his tendency to the pathetic, he could still on occasions he mightily 
humorous; and in "Suspicion," two sparrows in the snow eyeing doubtfully a 
fallen apple, hung at the Dudley in 1871, we had a rare specimen, among others, 
of this side of his genius. The first classical theme which he treated was also 
the one with which he made his first unmistakable score, and "Circe and the 
Friends of Ulysses " (1871) may be said now to be world-renowned, having obtained 
for its painter a medal at Philadelphia, and having been engraved, as he himself 

declares, "by Stacpoole, in 
a manner to give me the 
greatest delight." " Come 
Back," likewise exhibited in 
1871 at the Koyal Academy, 
offered a striking contrast to 
the " Circe," being again a 
domestic drama in which a 
prodigal daughter, returning 
to the home whence she has 
strayed, is recognised by the 
old dog. " Daniel," in 187.2, 
offered an entirely suitable 
subject, and the large and 
original treatment of it won 
for our artist a vast increase 
of renown. 

The climax of Mr. Riviere's pathos was perhaps reached in 1873 in " All that 
was Left of the Homeward Bound ; " and it might be questioned whether it is fair 
for an artist, endowed with powers like his, so to wring our hearts as he does; by the 
perpetuation of such a scene as this, of the young shipwrecked girl lashed to a spar 
floating, with a starving dog clinging to her, away upon the wide world of waters. 

A contrast to this picture was offered in the very noble canvas of " Argus " 
a most happy combination of classic lore and. animal painting. Induced, no doubt, 
by the success attending his efforts in the region of ancient literature, the painter 
next caught a suggestion from Euripides. In 1874 "Apollo'' became one of the 
pictures at the Royal Academy, and admirably adapted was the situation selected 
for exhibiting the cunning of our artist's hand. Very apt, too, were the lines 
from " Alcestis " taken for the catalogue description, and in reprinting them we 
shall convey perhaps the best idea of the picture possible where space is limited : 

" Apollo's self 

Deigned to become a shepherd in thine halls 
And tune his lays along the woodland slopes ; 




(By Permission of C. P. Matthews, Esq.) 



BRITON RIVIERK, R.A. 205 

Whereat entranced the spotted lynxes came 
To mingle with thy flocks ; from Othry's glen 
Trooped tawny lions ; e'en the dappled fawn 
Forth from the shelter of her pinewood haunts 
Tripped, to the music of the sun-god's lyre." 

The sleeping lioness at the mouth of her cave, under the name of " Genius 
Loci," was the second canvas of that year. Alternating his mood once more to 
modern tragedy and everyday life, the artist in 1875 gave us " War Time," " The 



and sport bet 

droops in irremediable sorrow, 
ips, and unrealised, for so strong a des! 
r romantic subject, also made an opportimiJ 
kh their characteristic action and expression, 
enchanted forest to the door of a cavern. 
) penetrate to unknown danger, and holds up 
his face keeping its serenity and courage. 
fc of extreme fear, and his two hounds cringe 
ally excellent as regards animal painting is j| 
fil^ an upright subject of a little gij 



"THE KINO DRINKS." 
(Royal Academy Diploma Picture.) 



Last of the Garrison," and a portrait, " E. Mansel Lewis, Esq." (life-size, with 
horse and dogs upon the sea-shore), familiar, doubtless, in the memory of most 
observers of art progress. The first of these three took a medal at Philadelphia. 

The very humorous picture of "A Stern Chase is always a Long Chase," 
was one of the most striking of Briton Eiviere's works in 1876, and it came in 
charming opposition to the second of the same year, " Pallas Athene and the 
Swineherd's Dogs," in which the goddess, " divinely tall," passes before us, a 
light wind playing with her white robes. The herdsman's dogs, to which alone 
she is visible, slink and cower at her presence. For the story, the reader is 
referred to the sixteenth book of the Odyssey. In 1877 both the Academy pictures 
had a religious interest, of a rather original kind. "A Legend of St. Patrick" 
shows the saint carrying home across the Irish mountains a hurt fawn, while 
the mother follows with her wistful face lifted up towards her little one on St. 



206 



THE MODERN SCHOOL OF ART. 



Patrick's shoulder. The beautiful drawing and painting of the hands is specially 
noteworthy. In "Lazarus," Mr. Eiviere has treated his suhject with almost too 
much realism. The group is evidently painted for the sake of the dogs, and the 
young Oriental mendicant, who lies at full-length at the steps of the rich man's 
house, is a kind of accessory. But in fact the dogs are wonderful both in drawing 
and execution ; we feel their very life and organism under their shabby white coats. 
Three of them lean greedily over the beggar, literally "licking his sores," with a 
most horrible suggestiveness. Most readers of the parable are doubtless accustomed 
to take the action as a bit of dumb charity, the tongue of the dog having healing 
qualities at least in popular estimation in the South. But in the picture the dogs 
are starving, and are doing their work hungrily. A fourth beast is cringeing up 
to the door, attracted by the smell of feasting, but prepared for the kick which 
will eject him if he penetrates too far. 

In the following year (when he was elected Associate, soon to be made an 
Academician), the painter had, "t p y- 1 ^j|tf" House a grand study of two lions 
wandering by 



Here, 
ment, a 
painters 
ness equ 
without 
distinct limit x 
to them, and, 



(By Permission of C. P, Matthews, Esq.) 




ank deep." 

orm has produced a move- 
t the most eminent animal 
of animal power, a serious- 
, either painted animals 
0) e strained the clear and 
em human looks impossible 
Now an animal's face has its 



decided language ; but it is not the language of human features, nor does it say 
the same things. And the beast's body is far more expressive than that of man 
at least, of civilised man. By denying himself the cheap but false exaggerations and 
misrepresentations by which animals have so often been made burlesques of humanity, 
Mr. Eiviere loses absolutely nothing that could detract from what he gains. See, for 
instance, the delightful bit of comedy which he has named " An Anxious Moment." 
In the foreground is an old black hat, battered and crushed, which has been kicked, 
in the chances of its decay, into the path of a flock of geese. Can they, dare they 
pass the unknown object ? The foremost go by close to the wall, and as far as possible 
from the formidable hat ; all their heads are lifted up proclaiming fear and fore- 
boding; and all is in the manner of geese extremely expressive and comic, but 
according only to the expression and comedy possible and natural to them. And at 
about the same time the painter exhibited at the Dudley Gallery a " Cave Canem," 
which had the same exquisite tact and truth in its fun. The dog of which we 
are bidden to beware is a little mongrel pup of ludicrous helplessness and youth, 
painted with a masterly hand. This little picture became famous, and. made a 



HltlTON RIVIEltE, R.A. 207 

popular engraving. To return to the Academy. With the geese was exhibited 
" Sympathy," in which a good white dog is bearing a little girl company in her 
exile, as she sits at a closed door; he comforts her with inarticulate sounds and 
with the language of his tongue. This also has been engraved. "Victims" little 
girls giving their dogs a compulsory dip in the waves belongs to the same year. 

"The Poacher's Widow" (1879), is a picture with a serious intention, as 
serious as that with which Charles Kingsley wrote : 

" She thought of the dark plantation, 

And the hares, and her husband's blood, 
And the voice of her indignation 
Hose up to the throne of God." 

The woman, whose mate has died by law for the petty theft of game in a land 
of waste and profusion, sits alone at nightfall on the fringes of a wood. With 
the falling day, the rabbits and pheasants, so little molested by their owners that 
they have no fear, come out in a crowd and sport between the trees and on the 
soft grass at her feet. Her head droops in irremediable sorrow, with an action 
just a little conventional, perhaps, and unrealised, for so strong a designer. " In 
Manus tuas, Domine,'' is a romantic subject, also made an opportunity for the 
painting of animal forms with their characteristic action and expression. A knight- 
errant has ridden through an enchanted forest to the door of a cavern. He speaks 
the prayer as he prepares to penetrate to unknown danger, and holds up the cross 
on the hilt of his sword, his face keeping its serenity and courage. His horse 
has the crouching movement of extreme fear, and his two hounds cringe in terror 
at the 'charger's heels. Equally excellent as regards animal painting is the contem- 
porary picture, "A Winter's Tale" an upright subject of a little girl lying in the 
snow, with two collie dogs standing over her. 

In 1880 Mr. Riviere repeated his idea of lions wandering by night through 
moonlighted ruins, in his " Night Watch." With this he exhibited " Endymion," 
remarkable for the painting of two Persian dogs : 

" Ah ! well-a-day, 
Why should our young Endymion pine away 1 " 

" The Last Spoonful," in which the humours of ducks are given as delightfully as 
those of geese in "An Anxious Moment," also appeared at the same time. A 
little farm-house girl has brought her bread-and-milk out in the summer evening 
to eat her supper among her friends in the farmyard. Little dogs, a cock and 
a few hens, and a flock of ducks, who have, perhaps, had some little largess from 
her in the course of her meal, are wrought up to a kind of feverish expectation as 
she turns up her bowl to enjoy her last spoonful. The dogs can hardly contain 
themselves, and the multitudinous quack of the ducks is almost audible. 

In "Envy, Hatred, and Malice" the painter has made a picture of dogs of 
many kinds and breeds, suffering, in their candid canine way, from the caresses 




O, 



tn 
H 

3 



UltlTON RIVIERE, R.A. 209 

lavished by a little girl upon the pug puppy which she holds on her shoulder. "A 
Roman Holiday" is more serious in motive though hardly in execution, for Mr. 
Briton Riviere puts perfect work into his slightest subjects. Here we are shown 
the arena of a Roman amphitheatre, the seats and the spectators being out of 
sight. Thus the painter lets us see the solitude of the gladiator's unpitied death ; 
although many thousands of eyes are upon him, it is an indescribable isolation. He 
lies helpless on his side, but has just raised himself on one arm to trace a cross 
with his dagger in the sand ; for he is a Christian, and has shed that red stream 
which flows from his lacerated body for faith's sake. One huge tiger which he has 
slain lies at his side ; the other prowls near with a splendid action and swing of 
the tail. In " Let Sleeping Dogs Lie " we have still more powerful work in the 
painting of a white bull-dog, a navvy's companion. In " Hope Deferred " the hero 
is a capital brown terrier. These pictures were at the Academy together in 1881. 

Next came " Leopards," another masterly study of animal life ; " Cupboard 
Love," the portrait of Miss Kate Potter in a red dress, with her black poodle ; and 
" The Magician's Doorway." Here the artist has again united romantic imagina- 
tion with his usual most realistic rendering of animals. The gateway is a magni- 
ficent study of architecture, and the eye loses itself in the corridors of the 
columned interior. One leopard couches on the steps, another stands above peering 
out. In the following year the interest of this artist's principal picture was 
pathetic. In " Old Playfellows," a beautiful collie pays a visit to his master, a 
dying boy, who lies back in his pillows. And stern enough is the motive of 
another, "The Last of the Crew" an explorer marching forward along the rim 
of a blue chasm of ice followed by his dogs, some of whom are fighting for a 
beaver bone. To the same season belonged "Giants at Play," one of Mr. Riviere's 
undoubted masterpieces. But he has perhaps allowed a feeling for the heroic to lead 
him here to idealise his navvies too much, as to their actions. The movement of 
the one, for instance, who has his arms above his head, is Greek, not English. Even 
the kind of reflected gentleness which comes of intently watching a little animal 
at play, would surely never make this man's head turn sideways as the painter has 
placed it. Nevertheless, the group is admirable, and the pup a perfect chef d'truvre. 

" The Sheepstealers " (1885) is remarkable, not only for its very strong dramatic 
interest, but for the beautiful rendering of misty moonlight by a painter not pro- 
fessedly a student of landscape. It is night on solitary hills in a bleak stone-wall 
country, and the robber, raising his head above a wall, has just caught the atten- 
tion of a flock of sheep, which stand alert and face him. With an intensely 
energetic action he quiets the dog at his side, who waits crouching intently, 
seeing nothing, but hanging on his master's order for the signal to charge. The 
uncertain northern moonlight lies on the hills and the flock, touches the stone edges 
of the wall, and defines the man's figure. To this figure, by the way, as to his pen- 
sive navvy, Mr. Riviere has given a certain elegance more pleasant than truth- 
ful. "Va3 Victis," also in the Academy, though vigorous in design, was hardly 

56 



210 THti MODERN SCHOOL OF ART. 

so successful a picture. The scene is the side of a mountain summit, where a 
wolf and an eagle are fighting over the little white prostrate lamb which the wolf 
has under his claws. The bird's noble wings are outspread in a great sweep as it 
strikes, erect, with its talons against the furious face of the wolf, whose jaws are 
open. "An Old Hound," and "After Naseby" belong to the same year, and "The 
Exile, 1746," "Union is Strength," and " The Welcome " to 1886, with " Eizpah," 
in which Mr. Briton Eiviere has taken for his motive the terrible Old Testament 
story. The bodies of the dead do not appear within the composition, but we see 
the foot of the gibbet, close by which is the desperate woman watching the birds 
of the air and the unclean herd of jackals which are pressing, crouching, and 
snuffing in a restless circle around her. 

Mr. Briton Eiviere takes a middle place between the painters of animals in 
their own solitudes and painters of animals in human conditions. We have already 
referred to Landseer as representative of the latter class, artists who can scarcely 
be considered as eminent animal-lovers, inasmuch as they seek for the interest 
of their subjects outside of the limits of animal nature. Of the painters who study 
the brute by itself, and if the apparent contradiction may be forgiven us away 
from the observation of men, no one has done stronger work than Mr. Nettleship. 
This artist has chosen to follow the drama of the life of the woods and deserts, as 
it is played out in suffering, passion, hatred, and love, with no reference to man's 
pursuit, or use, or sport. The death of an old lioness mourned by her mate, the 
deadly wars of jealousy, the going forth of the hunting panther at nightfall " seeking 
his meat from God" these are some of the motives of this most serious of all 
the painters of animals. He seeks no help from human imagination or fancy, 
which, indeed, seems somewhat trivial in comparison with the facts he renders ; 
and his heart records a truth which needs no comments. Mr.' Briton Eiviere is 
also the animal-lover and the painter of truth ; but he generally places the brute 
iu association with man, as his companion, friend, and servant. Even when he 
presents the lions in their solitude, prowling through ruins at night, he ddes so 
with a commentary, as it were a reference to the human story of power and 
glory passed away. And some of his truest and most expressive work shows the 
animal as directly affected by man's interests, sharing by sympathy and service 
in his adventures and work. And, assuredly, some of the strongest certainly the 
most demonstrative expression of which the beast is capable, is called out by 
this association. A dog tragically making common cause with a child in trivial 
trouble does not pass beyond dog nature, but expresses more emphatic and various 
feeling than he shows in his dealings with his own kind. And the horse in 
servitude has, to those who care to study the significance of his face, a capacity 
for pathos which could hardly exist in the natural and unsubdued life of the 
untamed creature. Much the same distinction is to be found in the manner of 
studying Nature, or rather in the moods in which she may be studied. Shall the 
artist paint the wild landscape, as in the gorges and prairies of America ; or the 



BRITON It l\ li:i,' I'}, R.A. 'JH 

tatnecl landscape of clipped yew-hedges, and peacock -shaped trees, and beds of 
scentless flowers between brick walls ; or the landscape in cultivation, used but not 
abused, with the hills keeping their own unchangeable outline against the sky, but 
bearing the crops, dark now with the soft brown of harrowed earth, and now 
rippled with young green wheat or golden with harvest ? The painter who chooses 
this latter phase of landscape-nature in agriculture is doing work in some sort 
parallel to that of the painter of animals such as their companionship with man 
has made them. Technically for these remarks on the subject do not, of course, 
belong to technical criticism at all this English painter takes a first-class rank 
iu draughtsmanship and the rendering of anatomical action. As a painter purely 
a handler of the brush he has superiors in the French school, Troyon and his 
pupil and successor, Van Maarke, the cattle-painters, for instance, but he has not 
been surpassed in drawing. 

Mr. Briton Riviere was represented at the Paris International in 1878 by " The 
Last of the Garrison, " " Charity," and the " Daniel in the Lions' Den." 





(From a Photograph by A. E. Fradelle.) 



PHILIP HERMOGENES CALDERON, R.A. 

WEITTEN sketch of an eminent man must, like all sketches,, be made 
up chiefly of leading and salient features. We do not, however, come 
upon many of these in following the life of Philip Hermogenes Calderon, 
E.A., only son of the Eev. Jiian Calderon, from his birth at Poitiers, in 
May, 1833, up to the spring of 1852, when his name first appears in our 
Eoyal Academy catalogue. His career so far was not very different from 
that of many another young aspirant to the noble art of painting. Writing to a 
biographer of himself, he says : " I was very fond of drawing from my earliest 
years, but did not begin studying art till 1850, when I was sent to Mr. Leigh's, 





Q 



o 

X 



PHILIP IIERMOGENE8 CALDERON, R.A. 213 

in Newman Street. After painting from the life for some time there, I went to 
Paris, and was admitted to the atelier of Monsieur Picot, where I studied for a 
year. Before that time I had scarcely ever drawn from the life, but always painted 
(often by gaslight) ; but at Picot's I was not allowed to use my brush at all, and 
was rigidly kept to drawing carefully from the model, from the head down to the 
toes. On uiy return to London I painted my first picture, ' By the Waters of 
Babylon we Sat Down and Wept,' which was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 
1852 ; after which I painted chiefly portraits for some time, and only began ex- 
hibiting regularly in 1857." 

After exhibiting successively in 1858, 1859, and 1860, " The Gaoler's Daughter," 
" Flora Macdonald's Farewell to Charles Edward," " Man Goeth Forth to his Work 
and to his Labour until the Evening," "French Peasants Finding their Stolen 
Child," and "Nevermore," the painter scored another very palpable hit of a most 
telling and enduring sort. In 18G1 he produced the " Demande en Mariage " and 
" Eeleasing Prisoners on the Young Heir's Birthday," this latter work manifesting 
to the full his exquisite fashion of dealing with womanhood and juvenile humanity. 
It was, however, in the following year (1862), when " After the Battle " was exhibited, 
that Mr. Calderon earned, and received, his full meed of praise. It is doubtful, 
however, whether he has ever exceeded the dramatic strength which, in 1863, he 
put forth in " The British Embassy in Paris on the Night of the Massacre of Saint 
Bartholomew." His election as an Associate of the Eoyal Academy, the following 
season, was mainly due to this picture, which, in conjunction with a very charming 
canvas, in a totally different key, called " Drink to me only with thine Eyes," 
exhibited at the French Gallery, proved that the artist's range was wide and 
versatile. In 1866 he once more came out with his full strength in those qualities 
by which he had first made his mark. " Her most High, Noble, and Puissant 
Grace " is the picture of a little girl-potentate of some six years old, walking in 
state, preceded by her trumpeters and heralds, and followed by the men and ladies 
of her court. The child is a true child, simple and tender, but she has been drilled 
in her lonely duties, and there is something truly pathetic in the look of the infantine 
form and face in the seriousness of the ceremonial. It is only at the first glance 
that the subject with the bowing courtiers, the pomp, and the obeisance in honour 
of the child queen has any comedy in it ; the pathos is apparent at the second 
glance, and is so original and so strong that probably nobody who has ever seen 
the picture has forgotten it. It won for Mr. Calderon, at the International Exhibition 
at Paris in 1867, the only gold medal granted to an English painter. Two other 
pictures, " On the Banks of the Clain, near Poitiers," and " Pyrenean Women 
Spinning, and Driving Turkeys," completed that year's contributions, leading, in 
conjunction with a very noble work, entitled "Home after Victory," in the spring 
of 1867, to his election, at that date, as a full member of the Royal Academy. The 
picture last mentioned showed a knight welcomed by the wife and sister whose 
hearts have been with him in his dangers. The subject sounds trite enough, the 



214 



THE MODERN SCHOOL OF ART. 



hackneyed motive of a costume-picture of the most commonplace kind. But in 
fact Mr. Calderon has felt his little scene with so unexpected a freshness, and has 
given the figures such a rapture, such a spring and movement of joy, as few painters 
have ever conceived. In the wife's face-a firmly-moulded, rather massive, and 




' CONSTANCE." 

(In tlie 1'ossession of G. C. Schicalic, Esq.) 

very beautiful face, such as the artist generally chose for his type at that time 
the look of happiness is touching and brilliant and most womanly. The choice of 
the Academicians was fully justified, in 1868, by a charming picture, entitled " The 
Young Lord Hamlet Biding on Yorick's Back," an illustration of what may be called 
one of the byways of Shakespeare. Very touching and beautiful was this illustration 
of a hitherto untrodden region of the drama ; and it is to be regretted that the 
success then obtained by the artist did not lead him to follow it up by more labour 
in the same field. Of a modern American poet we have an illustration equally 
skilful, the "Little Face at the Window," which catches the departing light. 




'And a little face at the window 
IV. rs out into the 



TwUigU 



21C) THE MODERN SCHOOL OF ART. 

Mr. Calderon was represented, in 1869, by " Sighing his Soul into his Lady's 
Face "-an admirable example of the manly, chivalrous spirit which he infuses into 
so many of his conceptions, and which distinguishes him par excellence as a painter 
of true knighthood no less than of true womanhood and childhood. This picture, 
together with the head called " Constance," and five others, were exhibited in the 
year 1878 at the Paris International Exhibition, Mr. Calderon having been one of 
the artists selected to. send an extra number of works ; and it will be well to name 
them here, since they won for him for the second time the honour of the gold 
medal (rappel de premiere medaUle). They were, " Home they Brought her Warrior 
Dead," "On her Way to the Throne," "Victory," "Margaret" (a head), and 
" Catherine de Lorraine Urging Jacques Clement to Assassinate Henri III." This 
last picture was also exhibited in London in 1869. The first-named of these five 
is one of the most important of the painter's works. It tells its story in the most 
admirably pictorial manner, and does not need those singularly complete little 
stanzas from Lord Tennyson's "Princess" lyrics to explain it- 

" Home they brought her warrior dead. 

She nor swooned nor uttered cry. 
All her women weeping said 

' She must weep or she will die.' 

" Rose a nurse of ninety years, 

Laid his child upon her knee. 
Like summer tempest came her tears 
' Oh my child, I live for thee.' " 

Mr. Calderon has seized the mother's action with a thoroughness and a vigour 
which give a true vitality to his picture. 

Following in their chronological order the painter's works is, after all, following 
the painter's life, for his work is his life : his brush tells his story. Hence, we see 
in Mr. Calderon's contributions to the Eoyal Academy Exhibition of 1870, that 
with " Spring Pelting away Winter with Flowers," he is striking into an allegorical 
vein, which, let it be said in passing, he does not appear to be quite so happy in 
as in others. Again, though we have seen, by his own account, that for some 
years in his early career he devoted himself to portraiture, we have not until this 
period found him exhibiting a portrait. But having broken ground in this direction 
with a head of Mrs. Bland, he henceforth scarcely ever quits it. In 1871, under the 
title of " The New Picture," he shows in a very original fashion the counterfeit 
presentment of a well-known picture-collector and his wife examining a newly- 
purchased work of art as it stands on a chair. Again, in 1872, he has " Mrs. 
Cazalet" (portrait), and a very striking and vigorous head of his friend and brother- 
artist, H. Stacy Marks, A.E.A. In 1873, in addition to a " Portrait of Mr. W. E. 
Elwyn," there is another very recognisable one in the picture entitled " Good-night," 
of a young mother, ready dressed for a ball, giving a farewell kiss to her little one. 
In 1875 two of the best as well as most charming pictures in the Academy were 



PHILIP HKKMOGENES CALDERON, R.A. 



217 



scenes Irom the city of Aries by Mr. Calderon " Coquettes," and another group 
ecclesiastics busied over sacristy work. In painting the Arlesiennes, the artist has 
given all the peculiar mingling of beauty, frankness, and modesty which makes 
them the most charming bourgeoises in France. Mr. Calderou describes them as 
so straightforward and simple that they will stand as models without either vanity 
or false shame, but out of pure politeness, and will unloose their splendid hair at 
an artist's request, doing all with the most courteous and obliging manner and 




PKLTINO AWAY WINTER." 

(By Fcrmiuion of C. P. Mutthews, Esq.) 

the readiest of smiles. It is now during many centuries that the Aries women 
have been celebrated in song and story for their good looks. And it is not only 
in beauty but in pleasantness that they have the advantage of the women of Nimes, 
the neighbouring city, who are neither charming to the tourist's eyes, nor anxious 
to oblige him. 

Mr. Calderon's principal work in 187G was " The Bird's Nest," a young 
woman and a child finding out together the tender little mystery that is hidden 
in the boughs of an arbutus. The picture is pleasantly harmonised with delicate 
greens, blues, and browns. With this was " His Keverence," another charming 
little passage of the graceful citizen life of Aries. Down one of its steep streets 
57 



218 THE MODERN SCHOOL OF ART. 

of steps, with an obelisk and trees in the distance, corne two women with neat 
dresses, and fichus crossed in ample folds over their shoulders, and their glossy 
hair uncovered, exchanging as they go profound bows with a gentle abbe, who 
meets them doffing his shovel hat. Next year came "Constance," a beautiful 
young head; " Keduced Three per Cents.;" and the "Fruit Seller," a girl holding 
out an apple, her face fresh and bright, her arm very cleverly foreshortened ; together 
with "Home they brought her Warrior dead," above described; "Joan of Arc" 
a solitary figure on the rocks, in a strong glow of sunset, representing the Maid 
as she was in the days when the voices of her saints were calling to her in her 
solitude to leave her home and go to the rescue of Orleans and the coronation of 
the King ; and a portrait of the Marchioness of Waterford. In the year following 
the Academy pictures included portraits of Mrs. Bayley Worthington and of the 
daughter of Mr. J. C. Bowring ; " La Gloire de Dijon " a radiant-faced girl with 
a basket of flowers; and "Kemoving Nuns from Loughborough, December, 1643." 
The subject of the latter is explained by this extract from a letter sent privately 
by Oliver Cromwell to his friend : 

"To Mr. Squire, at his quarters, Fotheringay, Peterborough, this day, 2nd Dec. 1G43 : DEAR FRIEND, 
I think I have heard you say that you had a relation in the Nunnery at Loughborough Pray, if you love 
her, remove her speedily ; and I send you a Pass, as we have orders to demolish it, and I must not dispute 
orders. There is one of the Andrews in it : take her away, Nay give them heed to go, if they value 
themselves I had rather they did. I like no war on women. Pray prevail on all to go, if you can I 
shall be with you at Oundle in time. "From your friend, 

" OLIVER CROMWELL." 
Squire has written on the back of the letter : 

" Got my Cousin Mary and Miss Andrews out, and left them at our house at Thrapstone, with my 
aunt, same night ; and the troops rode over, and wrecked the nunnery by order of Parliament." 

In 1879 Mr. Calderon exhibited " Summer Breezes," a young girl with a basket 
of fish on her hip, leaning aside and holding on her hat, as the sea-wind buffets 
her. Her bodice is red, and the sea is a bright blue. With this were " Twilight," 
an interior with a girl and child ; a portrait of the daughter of Mr. H. W. Smith ; 
and portrait groups of ladies and their children at play, entitled respectively " In 
Ambush" and "A Cruise round the World." Next year our artist contributed to 
the Academy " Captives of his Bow and Spear," a benevolent-looking Arab receiving 
the homage of a woman and three young girls, who kneel at his feet ; and a portrait 
of Mrs. Brocklehurst. In the same exhibition he began a series of decorative 
paintings with the "Vine" and the "Olive," in which female figures sit crowned 
and surrounded with grapes and olives, and with the leaves of olive-tree and vine. 
The rather hard and harsh colouring of these pictures took something from the 
Southern charm of the subjects. The same idea and treatment were continued, 
with more emphasis still, in " Flowers of the Earth." Here are terraces and flights 
of steps, columned and balustraded porticoes, about which are grouped women and 
girls carrying and weaving flowers. Flowers are in their baskets and in the aprons 
of the children, and scattered upon the pavements ; while a young woman, in a kind 



I'UILIP UERMOGENES CALDERON, li.A. 219 

of idealised peasant dress, kneels on one knee crowning herself with a great wreath 
freshly plaited. But soon after Mr. Calderon returned to subjects of another interest, 
painting, in 1883, " The Faithful Heart," a rather slight but pleasing picture of an 
old man laying a posy on a grave just after sunset, while the dusk gathers. 
" Andromeda," which followed, is a very well-drawn and well-painted study from 
the nude, made rather unattractive by the hard, violent blue of the sea and the 
white of the flesh, while the hair looks prcternaturally wiry and thick as it flies 
up in a black fleece, making a background to the head and bust. At the same 
exhibition were the " Kiver," a portrait of Mrs. Harry House, the "Woodland 
Spring " 

" Such sights as youthful poets dream 
On summer eves by haunted stream," 

and " Morning " a young nymph with a " shining morning face," waking in an 
ecstasy of delight in the summer fields, as the lark soars singing at " Heaven's 
gate." In 1886 Mr. Calderon had at Burlington House " In Golden Fetters " and 
" Ruth and Naomi," illustrating the passage 

" Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee : for whither thou goest, I will 
go ; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge : thy people shall be uiy people, and thy God my God." 

The two women are embracing, Ruth's profile being the pretty and rather trivial 
one of an English girl, and behind them rise pink mountains of the Moab chain in 
the evening light. 

Mr. Calderon has been an industrious contributor to the Grosvenor Gallery, 
where among his principal works have been " Leila," a subject illustrating the lines : 

" Deep in the shady sadness of a vale, 
Far from the fiery noon and eve's one star ; " 

" Aphrodite " showing the goddess rolled up, white and round, on the foam of an 
intensely dark blue sea ; and a very beautiful " CEnone," exquisite in its quality of 
flesh-painting. For his part in the exhibition of pictures of children, got up by 
the Fine Art Society in Bond Street in 1883, Mr. Calderou painted a pretty boy 
of some eight years old at his wicket as " Captain of the Eleven." 

The very various and numerous works imperfectly recorded above are painted 
in a modest but beautiful studio in the St. John's Wood region, in which effects 
of open-air light are produced by means of skylights and reflections from white 
walls. Of late years a son, Mr. Frank Calderon, has distinguished himself by 
some unusually true and spirited bits of figure and horse drawing. The sons of 
Academicians, like the nephews of Popes, are apt to be suspected as to the favours 
that may fall to their lot ; but in this case at least we have an undeniable talent 
of the kind that can observe and render character, movement, and the gesture of 
Nature. 

Of Mr. Calderon's technique one may say that, in addition to admirable colour, 



220 THE MODERN SCHOOL OF ART. 

it displays some traditions of the French school, grafted on to the originality of 
the English manner : that originality which comes, as it were, from the absence of 
any school at all. He paints like a Frenchman and thinks like an Englishman. 
Were there an adage to the effect that " Those who paint the spirit of chivalry 
should themselves be chivalrous," one glance at Mr. Calderon himself would be 
enough to show that in him the adage was borne out. We are struck, as it were, 
by his likeness to somebody we have seen before, and thinking for a moment, we 
say to ourselves, "To be sure, Velasquez!" We can recall half a. dozen knightly 
figures from the great Spaniard's brush, for any one of which Mr. Calderon might 
have sat. As an example, in the picture of the " Lances," or " Spears " (as the 
"Surrender of Breda" is sometimes called), in the Museo.at Madrid, his prototype 
is very conspicuous. Nor is it to be supposed that his personality in any way belies 
or overpaints the character of the man. 





I 






s 







f^~ 




^*?>. 



HAYNES WILLIAMS. 

JT the age of sixteen, and in the year 1852, Mr. Haynes Williams was 
graduating as an usher in a large school at Birmingham, where he had 
also been educated, although born at Worcester. If his youthful efforts 
with pencil and brush were not sternly repressed, it was only because no 
one supposed they were going to divert him from the course of life marked 
out for him. Thus it came to pass that he acquired, by persistent study on 
all opportunities, great facility as a draughtsman, and having beoi struck by the repre- 
sentation of some object of still life in a lithograph which was shown him by a friendly 
publisher of such works in Birmingham, he determined to attempt the delineation 
from Nature of a similar object. When he showed this essay to his friend, that 
person was so surprised and pleased with young Williams's success that he encouraged 
him to continue his artistic efforts by then and there giving him some small com- 
missions of a like character to execute. This lithographic feat led up by degrees to 




222 THE MODERN SCHOOL OF ART. 

other and more important work, and for over four years Mr. Underwood, the publisher, 
and the young aspirant continued to do business together, with, it may be assumed, 
mutual advantage ; for becoming the turning-point in the artist's life, this engagement 
started him financially on that career which of course before long brought his scholastic 
one to an end. Thenceforth diligently applying himself to the acquisition of that 
rudimentary knowledge without which the highest artistic genius is of little avail, 
Haynes Williams continued steadily to progress. He passed through whatever courses 
of study the local school of art offered to him, and by degrees he reached a posi- 
tion which enabled him to carry out a long and dearly-cherished project. As a 
boy, Washington Irviug's " Tales of the Alhainbra " had inspired him with an in- 
tense longing to visit Spain, and a re-perusal of this delightful work at a time when 
his artistic powers were beginning to mature, kindled afresh his enthusiasm for the 
peninsula as an unsurpassable happy hunting-ground for the painter. So to Spain 
he went about 1862, and fully imbued by his sojourn there with the spirit of the 
country, he has never since ceased. to manifest his predilection for Spanish subjects. 

Nevertheless, for some time after his return, in 1864, he found a difficulty in 
turning them to account ; and as an artist in his position must paint to live in order 
that he may live to paint, he was forced to turn his attention to more saleable 
themes. Hence we do not find his name conspicuously associated with his darling 
Andalusia on the walls of the Eoyal Academy until 1870, but that year he exhibited 
a work which possessed technical merits sufficient to arrest the eye of the connaisseur, 
and also claimed the attention of the crowd from the thrilling dramatic story it 
had to tell. It was entitled " Desesperados y Inesperados," and showed us some 
veritable desperadoes in their cave or retreat examining their plunder. One of 
them lay wounded unto death, whilst the fact, dramatically conveyed through the 
expression on the face of a woman, that the stronghold is surrounded by soldiery, 
lent the turning-point to the romance, and brought vividly before the mind of 
the spectator the whole progress of the drama, from the crime down to its expiation 
and punishment. 

This typical specimen of the strong side of the artist's characteristics was 
followed up by such works as "The Talisman," an incident of the bull-ring, and 
' The Soldier's Last March." A wounded toreador in a church, where his wife 
and friends offer up prayers for him, and the crowd awaiting admission to the 
bull-ring, were the two subjects selected for the years 1872 and 1873. They were 
entitled respectively, Prayers for One Wounded " and "A Los Toros," the latter 
being by far the most important effort yet made, having over sixty figures in it. 
In 1874, "Billeted" and Saludad " represented Mr. Williams on the walls of 
the Academy. : < Modern Occupants of Ancient Homes "a girl feeding pigeons in 
the courtyard of an old Moorish mansion in Granada, followed; and ArsLonga, 
Vita Brevis," which is eminently one of those pictures which speak for themselves' 
was seen on the walls of Burlington House in 1877. A quaint Spanish custom 
which obtained up to the end of the last century, offered our artist another 



IIAYNE8 WILLIAMS. 



223 



admirable theme in " Foundlings, Spain, 1790." A number of young girls are 
coming out of the hospital in procession, to seek (as it seems was the habit at 
certain intervals) for husbands, under properly organised surveillance. This, and a 
second canvas entitled " Congratulations " an incident connected with the national 
sport were the products of the years 1878 and 1879. The motive of this latter 
work is thoroughly Spanish in sentiment. Boll-fighting is the glory and the ethics, 
and almost the religion of this group of men and women the toreador of other 
days, whoso generous pleasure it is to applaud the triumphs of his successors ; 




THE 8TEr>IOTHF.U. 



toreadores of to-day, who admire the distinguished man too much to envy him ; 
the wife, who feels all the glory of her lord, and the child, who catches up the 
end of his father's scarlet cloak to excite to frenzy the little toy bull on wheels 
which he has at the point of his sword. And the congratulations are offered to as 
fine a figure of a bull-fighter as ever graced the ring. As to the costumes, they 
are gorgeous enough for a high gala, but with the overloaded gorgeousness which 
is peculiar to Spain. It is curious that Italian instinct in dress and decoration 
was in the picturesque age almost infallible, whereas Spanish taste always made 
for the tawdry and the theatrical. 

In " The Stepmother," the high quality of the painting indicated a steady 
advance in excellence of technique. The subject is extremely graceful, and must make 
the most modern-minded wish that old fair forms even formalities had not been 




J 

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O 



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HAYNES Will JAMS. 225 

altogether abolished among the English races. The family group in- Mr. Hayues 
Williams's picture, with all the latent sorrowfulness or doubt or foreboding which 
it represents, would be none the better if outwardly it seemed less courteous. 
Doubtless the situation is sufficiently suggestive of regrets, jealousies, and suspicions ; 
nevertheless, the heir of the house pays graceful homage to the attractive young 
mistress to whom he is presented, the girls are ready for a stepmotherly embrace ; 
and it is only the little boy, clinging to the old nurse's neck for comfort, who 
shows frankly how fresh is still the memory of the mother, and how reluctantly 
the stranger is welcomed. 

The mere painting of " The First Offence " far exceeds any of the artist's 
previous brushwork, and has been likened, in its general excellence, colour, quality, 
and the rest, to De Hooghe. The incident of a little ragamuffin brought before 
the dignified but good-natured Alcalde for tart-stealing, with all the attendant 
circumstances of such an affair, if not very exciting, is sufficient to give the artist 
his chance of displaying his ability in colour, composition, character, and expression. 
The execution of the details is in his best manner, and the bare, whitewashed walls 
of the justice-court, broken here and there with old pictures and heavy drapery, 
the peep into the rooms and passage beyond, the quaint accessories, and the 
splendidly picturesque Spanish costume of a hundred years ago, all combine to the 
perfect realisation of the scene and in making a delightful picture, It need only 
be added that in a portrait of Mr. George Critchett, the oculist, Mr. Haynes 
Williams proves himself no mean proficient in another difficult branch of his art. 

Of late years oxtr artist has been a constant exhibitor. In " The Ancestor on 
the Tapestry " he shows us a Spanish ulterior of the last century. The little 
grandee, who is the heir to a great name and large estates, is walking down a 
tapestried room with his mother and her lady attendant, when the old steward 
of the house beckons to the child and points to the picture of a famous ancestor 
on the arras. In 1881 appeared " The First Offence," and in 1882 a picture which, 
in spite of its lofty position over one of the doors, did attract considerable interest 
and attention. This was " The Sermon," a scene in church presumably in Spain 
with the faces of a row or two of listeners near the pulpit in sermon-time. Mr. 
Haynes Williams shows us first the old man, whose age is, as Lord Tennyson 
has it, "a time of peace." The preacher does not move him keenly, for his sins 
have long been repented of, and he is quietly " making his salvation " at leisure, 
without strong emotions. Next to him is a beautiful bonrgeoise woman, no longer 
young, whose life trials are at their height, but in whose large eyes burns the light 
of faith ; she has been telling her beads, but lets them lie in her lap as she listens. 
At her side is a man of the world, of a rather ferocious type, whose very equivocal 
conscience has been touched by a stray word, and who seems to pause in his 
habitual thoughts, suddenly troubled. Beyond him again, a poor mother, absorbed 
in the one practical and sufficient sweetness and care of her life, bends over her 
baby, altogether careless as to the eloquence in the pulpit, while an elder child sleeps 
58 



226 THE MODERN SCHOOL OF ART. 

at her knee. A perfectly careless and unspiritual person is near her ; and a little 
backwards is a thinker, who listens amid a crowd of replies and questions that arise 
in his own heart. A little farther off are faces expressing with less emphasis the 
variety of the ground on which the seed is scattered. Mr. Haynes Williams con- 
sidered his subject good enough to be treated life-size, and it was precisely the kind 
of picture which, by its over-emphasis as well as by its better qualities, would 
have made a great popularity if it had been hung where it deserved to be on 
the line. 

To the Grosvenor Gallery in the following year the painter contributed " A 
Gleam of Sunshine," illustrating the lines: 

"And the saddened face grew brighter, 

For the heart had lost its pain, 
When his dead child's loved little one 
Looked in his eyes again." 

A handsome old eighteenth-century gentleman, in a very neat wig and dress and 
a picturesque chair of an older date, is taking between both hands the charming 
face of a little girl of twelve, in which he sees the likeness of a lost daughter. 
There is something very sweet in the girl's serious and frank expression, and in 
the promise of intellect in her face. At the same gallery, in 1884, Mr. Williams 
had four works "An Interior," "At the Fountain," "Going to the Fountain," 
and the portrait of Mr. Henry Tate. Next year he was represented at the Eoyal 
Academy by a picture important in size and slight but pleasant in motive " An 
Interruption in the Dance." In a homely room some young people of the First 
Empire period are brought up in the course of a country dance by a stoppage in 
the music. Three girls run to see what has happened to the string of a violin, 
which has caused the interruption. The group is pleasingly composed. 

Mr. Haynes Williams is decidedly one of the painters whose work, if it ceased 
to appear, would be a loss to the Academy in general intelligent estimation. 



i. 









(From a Photograph by Done and Co., aA.rr Strut.) 



THOMAS FAED, R.A. 

GOTLAND lias produced not only an extraordinary number of painters, as 
compared with Ireland, and taking the difference of population into ac- 
count even with England, but also a school of painting most distinc- 
tively national, with characteristics exclusively its own. The roll of her 
great names in the realm of art reaches far back into the past. Jameson 
was a pupil of Rubens at Antwerp in 1616, and is commonly known 
as the Scotch Vandyke. At a later period we have in Sir Henry Raeburn a 
painter who magnificently illustrates the force and largeness of treatment distinc- 
tive of Scotch portraiture. The beginning of the present century introduces us to 
Sir William Allen, whose paintings of " The Battle of Waterloo," from two points of 
view the English and the French were criticised for that fault of cleanness, so 




228 THE MODERN SCHOOL OF ART. 

common to canvases of the kind, by the Duke of Wellington, who, nevertheless, 
bought them ; and to David Wilkie, of living memory. But it was not until our 
own day that a whole company of Scotchmen rose up almost simultaneously, 
winning Academic honours and taking the art-loving public fairly by surprise. John 
Pettie, W. Q. Orchardson, Sir Noel Paton, Peter Graham, J. MacWhirter, and 
Hamilton Maccallum, are only some of these, even after we have added the name of 
Thomas Faed, the subject of the present sketch. 

This sudden torrent of artistic power is, perhaps, capable of an easy explanation ; 
the tide of a great national talent, which had long been pent up in obedience to an 
icy creed, at length, under the liberating rays of au enlightened culture, expanded, 
and burst forth brightly. The divines of the Covenant, as Allan Cunningham tells 
us, regarded both painting and poetry as matters idolatrous and vain; they not 
only dismissed from their public worship all external pomp, but adopted a dress 
and manner of life almost ostentatiously plain and homely. Succeeding pastors, 
however, softened these asperities ; the sense of the beautiful grew by slow degrees 
less and less darkened, until at length Nature asserted her own dignity, and from 
the very bosom of the kirk there came forth a painter no less eminent than Wilkie. 
Born in a manse, whose domestic arrangements, both of necessity and on principle, 
made it "an example of thrift to the parish," the little David, when scarce escaped 
from his mother's bosom, loved to draw such figures as struck his fancy on the 
sand beside the stream, on the smooth stones of the field, and on the household 
floors ; and when his fame was high he often declared that " he could draw 
before he could read, and paint before he could spell." From this healthy, 
though rough, Academy of the way-side and the fields, where, like Giotto, he 
lovingly made his first studies, he passed to a grammar-school, where he worked at 
more finished sketches ; and as he grew up though he lived in a land where, beyond 
a stray portrait of Sir Joshua, there were no fine examples of painting, and no 
friendly interpreters of the young enthusiasm which made him feel restless unless he 
had a pencil in his hand his art grew with him. The relations between a 
yonng man of genius and his family are rarely satisfactory : his elders cannot see 
that the light which leads him comes from heaven, and they naturally shirk the 
responsibility of allowing him to turn from the beaten path that leads to a 
respectable competence, in order that he may venture on the untrodden ways of 
fame. This was David Wilkie's case; but at last, with fear and trembling, his 
father resolved to allow him to follow his bent ; therefore, at the age of four- 
teen, he set off for the Edinburgh Academy in November, 1799. How he inhabited 
a little room in Nicholson Street, and there set up his easel ; how he was punctual 
as time itself to the hours some ten or twelve allowed for study in the Academy 
every day ; how he made almost unexampled progress ; how he painted and sold 
pictures for a tithe of their value, and, finally, how he made a reputation that 
will never die all this has been told over and over again, and we are only led 
to refer to it here because, in the hero of it all, we have a thoroughly typical 




" Oh ! wlm wad buy a silken gown 

Wl' a puir broken heart? 

Or what's to me a siller crown 

Gin frae ray love I part)' 



230 THE MODERN SCHOOL OF ART. 

Scotch artist, in the history of whose early straggles we read that of many others 
who have followed, with more or less distinction, in his steps. 

One of this number, John Faed our Academician's elder brother must cer- 
tainly be counted. Born in the parish of Girthom, Kirkcudbrightshire, when the 
century was some twenty years old, he came from a family which had lived about 
the Borders for three hundred years, and which has, we believe, an exclusive 
monopoly of its probably Celtic, but possibly Danish, name. Like David Wilkie, 
he had given promise of artistic excellence at the age of twelve, and proceeding 
to Edinburgh in 1841, there began to win a public reputation which he continues 
to extend at the yearly exhibitions of our own Academy. 

Following in his brother's footsteps, on what had consequently become a com- 
paratively easy path, Mr. Thomas Faed also went to Edinburgh, and while a pupil 
of Sir William Allan's at the School of Design carried off many prizes which, 
though they may perhaps be smiled at now, were doubtless of paramount import- 
ance then. His earliest exhibited work was a water-colour drawing of " The 
Old English Baron," and from water-colours to oils was a step which he was 
quick to take, and with so much success that he was elected an Associate of 
the Eoyal Scottish Academy at the age of twenty-three. These early canvases 
were almost all representations of some phase of Scottish life. Beginning with 
draught-players and shepherd-boys, the artist went on to more ambitious subjects, 
such as " Scott and his Friends at Abbotsford," until his reputation was so far 
established that in 1852 he settled in London, and began to exhibit regularly at 
the Royal Academy, of which he became an Associate in 1859, and a Member 
in 1864. He is also a member of the Royal Scottish Academy, and of the Imperial 
Academy of Vienna. 

It is commonly said that an age may be judged by its literature ; and paint- 
ing is almost equally expressive of the mental and physical conditions under which 
it is produced. The religious fervour of the Middle Ages made itself felt in such 
works as those of Fra Angelico, Perugino, and Francia ; the prosaic character of 
the Dutch is written on Dutch art, just as the elegance of Italy is evident in 
Italian art, even in its days of decadence ; the artificial courtliness of France in 
the last century stamped a contemporary school of painting, even infecting the 
religious canvases of the time ; and future historians who write of the present 
century as a distinctively military one for France, will be able to confirm their 
words by pointing to the fact that her contemporary military art was the greatest 
in the world. Coming to the Great Britain of to-day, we find her to be before all 
things domestic. The people live, not in churches, nor courts, nor camps, but in 
their homes, which they have filled with household gods, and made, in the language 
of Wordsworth, "kindred points with heaven." We are told that those poets are 
great who best embody in verse the spirit of their age, and if the same rule 
applies to the work of the artist, assuredly Mr. Faed holds a certain place among 
painters. No other has told domestic stories upon canvas so often, and his popu- 



THOMAS FAED, R.A. 231 

larity proves how thoroughly he is in harmony with the temper of his time. As 
early as 1855 his " Mitherless Bairn" was the Academy "picture of the season," 
and it has heen followed up, as all the world knows, by a succession of canvases 
of an equally sentimental interest, and of greater technical excellence. In 1856 
came the " Home of the Homeless," now in the possession of the Baroness 
Burdett Coutts. A few years later each year being marked by the appearance of 
characteristic works which it is unnecessary to name a sensation was made by the 
" Sunday in the Backwoods," a large representation of Scotch emigrants who break 
the silence of the forest by reading the Bible aloud, while a dying lassie leans 
against her old mother and plays with a pet bird a reminiscence of the far- 
away land she loves, but will see no more for ever. Another sensation was made 
by "From Dawn till Sunset," a picture which shows the interior of a cottage con- 
taining the various stages of life, from the unconscious baby at its mother's breast 
to the old grandmother, whose hand, worn by the touch of death, falls on the cover- 
lid. Of attractiveness equal to either of these was the " Evangeline," which has 
already been made familiar by many engravings and lithographs, and was especially a 
favourite in Evangeline's own land, and with the poet whose genius gave her birth. 
In " Worn Out " we have perhaps the best picture for colour and for feeling that 
Mr. Faed has painted ; it represents a middle-aged workman a widower watching 
his sick boy through the night ; the weather is cold and the father has taken off 
his coat and covered the lad with it ; an old bit of rug is placed to keep away the 
draught ; the lamp is set where the light will not get into the child's eyes ; his 
hands clasp his father's shirt-sleeve, lest he should leave him; and so they have 
fallen asleep, "worn out" as light is just slanting in at the garret window. " Only 
Herself" is another of the artist's best works, and when it was sold, along with 
" A Wee Bit Fractious," at a public sale, nearly 4,000 was realised by the two. The 
picture we have selected for an engraving represents Mr. Faed in the character he 
has made peculiarly his own that of the delineator of homely Scottish life ; nor 
has he ever, even when in this favourite mood, chosen a happier subject than that 
afforded by the incident to be found in one of the most popular of national 
ballads : 

" Oil ! wha wad buy a silken gown 

Wi' a puir broken heart? 
Or what's to me a siller crown 
Gin f rae my love I part 1 " 

Mr. Faed, who puts, as the French say, his dots upon all his i's, and will not 
run the risk of having his meaning overlooked for lack of emphasis and explana- 
tion, shows us the family situation in its completeness. The damsel, with her 
snooded hair, is sitting at her wheel, where she spins the homespun and russet 
which she is content to wear. The mother has the silken gown, not in promise, 
but in actuality, unfolded, with its attractive surface at her daughter's elbow, and 
she whispers into her ear mercenary counsels. Nor is this all ; for we are allowed 



232 



THE MODERN SCHOOL OF ART. 



to see through a door open exactly far enough, the equally venal father and the 
rich suitor himself at their bargain. And doubtless this insistence has done some- 
thing towards Mr. Faed's popularity. 

Of later years the Scottish -artist has persevered in the same prosperous 
career, painting buxom young mothers in sun-bonnets tending their boys 'and girls, 
and excellent old people in plaids. He allows himself some nights of imagination 
as regards the colours of his personages' costumes, and in weightier matters, of 
course, it cannot be pretended that he renders the life of Scotland realistically. 
His art belongs to a time just passing, when people preferred Nature made pleasanter 
with sentiment ; and for this mild kind of idealisation nobody was the worse. 




PRINTED BY CASSELL & COMPANY, LIMITED, LA BELLE SAUVAOE, LONDON, E.G. 






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